Heal the Bay (HTB), a non-profit environmental organization, sponsored legislature (AB 1548) that became the foundation for the California State Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). After inception, the EEI was managed by the State Environmental Protection Agency; however, as one of a large coalition of non-governmental organizations that had fostered the legislation, HTB applied for a Lucille Packard Foundation grant to promote strategic planning and evaluation for monitoring and oversight of EEI activities. As the first step in this process, HTB contracted with ETI to develop an evaluation white paper that could be used as a guide for planning future EEI evaluation efforts. The white paper was developed around core EEI benchmarks, such as professional development and student outcomes, and provided background as well as specific examples of evaluation strategies that could be used to monitor EEI progress. HTB used the white paper to engage in an evaluation planning process with the state, and to ensure that state-wide and regional EEI evaluation activities were grounded in sound research practice.