Environmental Principles & Concepts

California Environmental Principals and Concepts

According to the California Education and the Environment Initiative, "CA's Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) highlight the deep relationship between humans and the natural world.

"Students and teachers need not memorize the five environmental principles and fifteen supporting concepts. Rather, they are “big ideas” intended to inform standards-based instruction and fuel student inquiry. Teachers can support environmental literacy by helping students to understand and apply the EP&Cs across academic disciplines and in the real world.

By law, the EP&Cs must be addressed in future California textbooks and instructional materials adopted by the state. In 2016, the EP&Cs were integrated into the revised California History-Social Science and the new California Science framework. As a result, subsequent state textbook adoptions will incorporate the EP&Cs."


The EcoBlitz focuses on several of the EP&Cs including Principal 2 & 5

Principle 2 - People Influence Natural Systems

The long-term functioning and health of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems are influenced by their relationships with human societies.

  • Concept A. Direct and indirect changes to natural systems due to the growth of human populations and their consumption rates influence the geographic extent, composition, biological diversity, and viability of natural systems.

  • Concept B. Methods used to extract, harvest, transport, and consume natural resources influence the geographic extent, composition, biological diversity, and viability of natural systems.

  • Concept C. The expansion and operation of human communities influences the geographic extent, composition, biological diversity, and viability of natural systems.

  • Concept D. The legal, economic, and political systems that govern the use and management of natural systems directly influence the geographic extent, composition, biological diversity, and viability of natural systems.


Principle 5 - Decisions Affecting Resources and Natural Systems are Complex and Involve Many Factors

Decisions affecting resources and natural systems are based on a wide range of considerations and decision-making processes.

  • Concept A. There is a spectrum of what is considered in making decisions about resources and natural systems and how those factors influence decisions.

  • Concept B. The process of making decisions about resources and natural systems, and how the assessment of social, economic, political, and environmental factors has changed over time.