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EPA, Boy Scouts Announce Collaboration on Environmental Education Award Program and Special Award

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EPA Press Office (

WASHINGTON (August 17, 2020) - Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) CEO and President Roger C. Mosby signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the creation of an EPA/BSA special award to be awarded as part of a new environmental education awards and recognition program.

"I was an Eagle Scout growing up in Ohio, and I can definitely say scouting is where I learned to love the environment," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "This award program challenges Scouts to earn multiple environment-related merit badges in the areas of animal study, outdoor activity, Earth science, and Public Health, and increases awareness of EPA's accomplishments during its first 50 years."

"Since the very beginning of the Boy Scouts of America, conservation and environmental studies have been an integral part of our program. Scouts have provided service to their communities and to our country by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil and water," said Boy Scouts of America President and CEO Roger C. Mosby. "We are proud to sign the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency so that we can continue to challenge and empower Scouts to learn more about and care for the world around them."

"For 110 years, the Boy Scouts of America have used the outdoors as a classroom to educate youth and adults on the importance of being good stewards of our natural resources. This partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency will have a positive impact on thousands of youth and our environment," said Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council Scout Executive & CEO Craig Poland.

Aligned with EPA's 50th Anniversary Commemoration, the program includes several activities that help to fulfill EPA's obligations under the 1990 National Environmental Education Act to promote environmental education and to provide national leadership to increase environmental literacy.

The EPA-sponsored award will challenge Scouts to learn about, explore, and conserve the world around them as part of an awareness campaign to educate the public about EPA's accomplishment during its first 50 years and develop the vision for the next 50 years. The program will also provide EPA with opportunities to educate BSA member councils and leadership about priority initiatives including Trash Free Waters, Winning on Reducing Food Waste, and Healthy Schools.

The program will introduce Scouts to the breadth of EPA's involvement in environmental protection and conservation, combining a variety of disciplines including earth sciences, animal studies, outdoor activities, and public health. To receive the EPA award, Scouts must first receive merit badges in each of these four areas and participate in an environmental/public health community service project, totaling at least six hours, as part of an approved Scouting program. Scouts may complete required steps to earn the award between April 22, 2020 and December 31, 2021, at which time the MOU may be extended.

The Boy Scouts of America is the largest Scouting organization and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with about 2.1 million youth participants and about 1 million adult volunteers. The BSA was founded in 1910, and since then, about 110 million Americans have participated in BSA programs.

To earn the EPA award, you can download the application here. ExitCompleted applications should be submitted to the local Scout Shop to receive the commemorative patch.