CBF's dedication to education as an essential tool in sustaining environmental progress for the Chesapeake Bay is heightened by the understanding that effective environmental education improves student achievement, provides an academic pipeline to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses and careers, has a positive impact on children's health, and prepares future generations for the economic and environmental challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.
While CBF has enjoyed decades of success in our on-going efforts to work with school systems throughout the watershed to ensure that all students in the Bay region are provided with the kind of experiences and knowledge that will prepare them to become lifelong and active stewards for the Bay, the narrowing of the curriculum and pressure to "teach to the test" created by high stakes testing requirements under the No Child Left Behind law (2002-2015), had severely limited the ability of schools to provide a well-rounded or innovative curriculum in more recent years. CBF realized that effecting systemic and long-term change for the Bay would require systemic change in federal education policy.
An understanding of the far-reaching and invaluable benefits of environmental education prompted CBF to take a leadership role in the formation of the national No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Coalition in 2006. The Coalition now has more than 2,200 diverse organizational members and represents over 50 million individuals from every state and the District of Columbia.