Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards

In 2011, Maryland became the first state in the Nation to require students to be environmentally literate as a high school graduation requirement.  The State Board of Education ruled that “each local school system shall provide in public schools  (Pre-K-12) a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education program infused within current curricular offerings and aligned with the Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum.”  The requirement does not require a specific environmental course for students; instead, each local school system will shape its own environmental education program, but the program must align with Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum Standards.   There are eight state standards: Environmental Issues; Interactions of Earth’s Systems; Flow of Matter and Energy; Populations, Communities and Ecosystems; Humans and Natural Resources; Environment and Health; Environment and Society; Sustainability. Each local school system will submit their plans to the State Superintendent of Schools for their high school program of environmental literacy. These locally developed programs must ensure that all incoming Grade 9 students in the fall of 2011 will complete a comprehensive environmental education program that meets the Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum Standards by graduation.


Simplified Summary of the Standards
The Law
The Environmental Literacy Curricular infusion for each grade band can be found at:

MSDE Environmental Education Toolkit:

Maryland Green Schools provide many examples of lessons that integrate environmental learning and STEM.

View our presentation from MSDE’s Rocky Gap Summit: Bridging Connections to Environmental Literacy, Aug 2012.