RELEASE: OAK Welcomes the Nomination of Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Contact: Jackie Ostfeld, 202-548-6584, jackie.ostfeld@sierraclub.org

 

The Outdoors Alliance for Kids Welcomes the Nomination of Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Washington, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, to be the next EPA Administrator.

Statement of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)

Gina McCarthy has been a leader in the effort to connect children with the outdoors. During her tenure as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection, McCarthy established the “No Child Left Inside” campaign to encourage families throughout the state to visit their parks and forests.  The campaign was created to raise awareness about the 137 state parks and forests across Connecticut and to attract more kids and families to get healthy outdoors. As part of the campaign, McCarthy launched “The Great Park Pursuit” which took families on an eight week journey to visit eight different state parks.

“President Obama has chosen a leader  who understands the importance of connecting children and families with the natural world,” says Jackie Ostfeld, chair of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) and Policy Manager of Sierra Club’s Outdoors program. “Today’s children and youth spend most of their free time indoors. Gina McCarthy knows that bridging the divide between kids and nature improves the wellbeing of our children and the long-term health of our environment.”

“With childhood obesity on the rise and our global competitiveness in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) slipping, it is more important than ever to have a leader that believes in the importance of connecting kids with nature,” says Danielle Moodie-Mills, Director of Education Advocacy at the National Wildlife Federation. “The appointment of Gina McCarthy will begin to narrow the environmental education and health gap that negatively impact our nation’s children.”

“Gina McCarthy is a superb choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Among her many outstanding attributes, she understands the importance of people of all ages–and especially children and their families–forming deep bonds with the natural world in order to be likely to help assure its quality for generations to come,” said Dr. Cheryl Charles, President and CEO, Children & Nature Network.

In her role as EPA Administrator, McCarthy will be responsible for keeping our air and water clean and educating our children and the public about the environment. OAK looks forward to working with McCarthy to strengthen and grow the environmental learning opportunities administered by EPA. OAK also hopes to improve community health and wellness initiatives and environmental stewardship opportunities for children, youth and families across America.

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About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in expanding opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the well-being of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than fifty national organizations including the American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Izaak Walton League of America, National Association of State Park Directors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, The North Face, the Outdoor Foundation, REI, Sierra Club, and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children and the natural world. Find out more on our website: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

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