In this component of the Envirothon program, teams research a current environmental issue as it occurs in their own community, then prepare a presentation on their findings and proposed solutions. Each year the Massachusetts Envirothon Committee takes the NCF Envirothon Current Issue and adapts it to ensure that the topic is relevant to ALL Massachusetts communities. Wide-ranging community research is encouraged, including field study, interviews of scientists, advocates, local officials, and residents, internet and library searches, map reading, and visits to town hall.
Many teams take what they learn in their current issue research and apply it in a community action project. Any team that demonstrates high research standards in their current issue work, or applies their Envirothon learning in a service project, is eligible for an Envirothon Community Award.
At the state competition in May, the team makes a presentation of their Current Issue findings and recommendations to a panel of judges (including natural resource managers, local and state officials, environmental advocates, and others) who score them and provide helpful feedback on their knowledge, proposed solutions, and presentation skill. A highlight of the experience is the interaction between the teams and the judges when the scoring is completed. After the morning competition, teams have a chance to share their current issue research and community action projects informally at a lunchtime “Enviro-Trek” session.
2017 Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Resources / Problem 2016 Managing Invasive Species Resources / Problem 2015 Climate Crisis: Taking Action in Massachusetts Communities Resources / Problem 2014 Sustainable Local Agriculture in Massachusetts Resources / Problem
2013 Trees, Forests and Sustainability in Massachusetts Resources / Problem
2012 Sustainable Stormwater Management Resources / Problem
2011 Wetland Protection Resources / Problem
2010 Groundwater Protection Resources / Problem
2009 Renewable Energy: Getting it Right, Ecologically & Economically Resources / Problem
2008 Outdoor Recreation and the Environment Resources/ Problem
2007 Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy for MA Communities Resources / Problem
2006 Acting Locally for Climate Protection Resources / Problem
2005 Protecting Cultural Landscapes Resources / Problem
2004 Natural Resource Management in the Urban Environment Resources / Problem
2003 Strengthening Local Food Systems Resources / Problem
2002 Introduced Species and Biodiversity Resources / Problem
2001 Stormwater Management Resources / Problem
2000 Wetland Conservation
1999 Open Space Planning
1998 Watershed Management
1997 Pest Management
1996 Community Wastewater Treatment and Disposal