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coa logoLong Branch, NJ – Today, Clean Ocean Action (COA) launched a four-day “Virtual Student Rally for Climate Change Education.”  The Long Branch, NJ-based nonprofit organization invited students ages 0-18 to create a visual, tangible expression of what climate change means to them and how important climate change education is to their future. In organizing this social media-based rally, COA is calling-on all youth to support New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Proposed Climate Change K-12 Student Learning Standards for Public Schools. The actions follow Climate Strike Fridays and other worldwide youth-led actions focused on climate change.

“Kids are our future – and they must be empowered to protect our planet. Education is the key.” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action. “Clean Ocean Action applauds NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy and Governor Murphy for working giving New Jersey the opportunity to lead the nation in mandating standards in climate change education in our public schools statewide.”

New Jersey First Lady Murphy lead efforts to incorporate climate change in the statewide education standards. The NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) is accepting public comments on these proposed standards until March 30, 2020.

“We are looking forward to seeing a wave of student creativity in the forms of posters, poems, quotes, songs, and more,” said Kari Martin, Advocacy Campaign Manager, Clean Ocean Action. ““Climate change is real, and the urgency of addressing it at all subject and grade levels cannot be emphasized enough. These students and their expressions will give us a sense of hope.”

The students’ pictures and videos will be shared on COA’s social media platforms (Instagram: @cleanoceanaction, Facebook: @CleanOcean, Twitter: @CleanOcean), and/or posted on student or parent social media accounts between 9am Friday, March 27, through 5pm Monday, March 30. The posts will tag Clean Ocean Action, Tammy Murphy, Governor Murphy, and NJDOE, and will be captured and submitted by COA for the proposed standards’ public record.

According to COA, amidst growing challenges and changing times, it is clear that children and teens are facing mounting pressure and anxiety that is exacerbated by a fear of their well-being now and in the future -- and their future is in peril due to climate change impacts.

“Science and Technology alone are not enough to find solutions to the myriad problems from climate change and requires a true cultural shift and mindfulness to our environment.  And that can be effective only if climate change is part of the curriculum in one’s school years,” said Swarna Muthukrishnan, Staff Scientist, Clean Ocean Action. “It is heartening to note that the state of NJ has clearly understood this need and has included this topic not just in Physical and Social Sciences, but as a component of other disciplines as well.”

For more information about the virtual rally, visit CleanOceanAction.org  or call COA.