143B-285.23. Powers and duties of the Secretary of Environmental Quality.

The Secretary of Environmental Quality shall:

(1) Establish an Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs to:

a. Serve as a clearinghouse of environmental information for the State.

b. Plan for the Department's future needs for environmental education materials and programs.

c. Maintain a computerized database of existing education materials and programs within the Department.

d. Maintain a speaker's bureau of environmental specialists to address environmental concerns and issues in communities across the State.

e. Evaluate opportunities for establishing regional environmental education centers.

f. Administer the Project Tomorrow Award Program to encourage school children to discover and explore ways to protect the environment.

g. Assist the Department of Public Instruction in integrating environmental education into course curricula.

h. Develop and implement a grants and award program for environmental education projects in schools and communities.

(2) Coordinate, through technical assistance and staff support and with participation of the Department of Public Instruction and other relevant agencies, institutions, and citizens, the planning and implementation of a statewide program of environmental education.

(3) Be responsible for such matters as the purchase of educational equipment, materials, and supplies; the construction or modification of facilities; and the employment of consultants and other personnel necessary to carry out the provisions of this Part.

(4) Encourage coordination between the various State and federal agencies, citizens groups, and the business and industrial community, in the dissemination of environmental information and education.

(5) Utilize existing programs, educational materials, or facilities, both public and private, wherever feasible. (1993, c. 501, s. 28; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2010-31, s. 13.1A(d); 2015-241, s. 14.30(v).)