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2015 B-WET awards announcement

NOAA B-WET 2015 grant awards support watershed education projects for K-12 teachers and students around the country.

NOAA will bring thousands of K-12 teachers and students around the country outside for hands-on environmental education opportunities through funding awarded in fiscal year 2015. Eighty-four new and continuing projects benefit from a total of over $7 million in funding for the NOAA Office of Education’s Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program.

The NOAA B-WET Program is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, authentic experiential learning focused on K–12 audiences. B-WET funding is provided through competitive grants that promote Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom, and aim to increase the understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ocean, coastal, riverine, estuarine, and Great Lakes ecosystems of all participants. NOAA funding is provided for teachers to support student investigation of environmental topics both locally and globally that are of interest to them. Students identify actions to address these issues and understand the value of those actions.

In 2015, funded activities include a cultural and natural history exchange program with the Suquamish Tribe in Washington State, bringing together high school students from different regions in the Pacific Rim to share common ideas, values, and traditional ways of knowing. In the Gulf of Mexico, funds support a project that teaches teachers and students how marine debris affects our marine environment. With an interactive website entitled Watershed Experience Tracker, and through waterway cleanup initiatives, teachers and students will learn how the choices we all make can have a substantial impact on neighboring communities and habitats, including marine environments. In California, student mentoring teams including STEM professionals will engage in the STEM disciplines and actively participate in Santa Barbara Channel research by assembling and collecting data with marine remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in order to implement long-term monitoring protocols, analyze historical data-sets, and construct scientific reports and outreach projects.

“B-WET funded professional development enhances teachers’ skill and confidence in using environmental education to address multiple subjects’ curriculum standards and local education agency initiatives,” said Louisa Koch, Director of Education at NOAA.

Teachers and education professionals involved with the B-WET Program are equipped with information they can share with their students and communities for years.

Louisa Koch, Director of Education at NOAA

The MWEE approach is based on research literature, evaluation results and lessons learned over a decade of program implementation. The B-WET national evaluation system, which began data collection in 2014, enables the program to monitor and adjust program activities as a result of new information about best practices, and to support grantees in implementing those practices.

B-WET currently serves seven areas of the country: California, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawai’i, New England, and the Pacific Northwest. Awards in the Great Lakes region are made possible by funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.


New 2015 B-WET projects, by region, are:

Please Note: Award amounts listed are amount provided in fiscal year 2015 only and may not reflect the full amount of the award over all years.

California

Recipient Project State Amount
Lompoc Unified School District Aquarium SeaQuest Program Lompoc, CA $36,015
Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans Foundation, Inc. Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification Ventura, CA $49,900
University of California, Santa Barbara Oceans-to-Classrooms Watershed Education and Training Program Santa Barbara, CA $59,968
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District Connecting Students to Their Local Watershed: A Watershed Education Program for Students and Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers Monterey, CA $49,957
North Monterey County Unified School District Expanding Watershed Educational Experiences for North Monterey County Moss Landing, CA $50,336
University Corporation at Monterey Bay Building a Bridge: Connecting underserved youth to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary through hands-on education Seaside, CA $30,000
Marine Science Institute Student Stewards of the Redwood Creek Watershed Redwood City, CA $30,400
bay.org Integrating Watershed Science Education through Trout in the Classroom San Francisco, CA $57,930

Chesapeake Bay

Recipient Project State Amount
Fairfax County Public Schools Promoting Systemic Stewardship through Engineering Design and Action Falls Church, VA $52,428
Hampton City Schools Hampton Systemic Environmental Literacy Program Hampton, VA $120,000
York County Schools Project Based Environmental Literacy Program Yorktown, VA $75,000
Friends of Rappahannock The Student Stewardship Experience: A Restoration Science MWEE Fredericksburg, VA $67,440
Boxerwood Gardens Project NEST (Nurturing Environmental Stewardship Together) Plus Lexington, VA $42,672
Elizabeth River Project The Learning Barge Collaborates with B-WET Veterans Portsmouth, VA $50,000
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Aquaculture in Action: A Model for STEM and E-Lit Education Cambridge, MD $69,919
Howard County Conservancy Watershed Report Card: Students as Researchers and Advocates Woodstock, MD $104,636
Sultana Education Foundation Choptank Choices: Investigating How Human Activities Have Altered the Ecosystem of the Choptank River Over Time Chestertown, MD $20,000
Cecil County Public Schools Building Future Stewards of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Elkton, MD $77,370
Annapolis Maritime Museum Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Oyster Education Project Annapolis, MD $70,620
Alice Ferguson Foundation Action Projects and Teacher Professional Development for Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences in District of Columbia Public Schools and Charter Schools Accokeek, MD $86,644
Gettysburg College Exploring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Pennsylvania Gettysburg, PA $143,129
Monroe Community College B-WET New York Upper Susquehanna Watershed Rochester, NY $75,000
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Implementation of MWEEs through the Children in Nature Coalition Dover, DE $44,500

Gulf of Mexico

Recipient Project State Amount
ReNEW Schools Wetland Warriors Environmental Education Program New Orleans, LA $47,462
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Watershed Webs Baton Rouge, LA $90,000
Clear Creek Independent School District Education Village Bay Watershed Education Program League City, TX $100,000
University of South Florida Tampa Bay to Gulf: Coastal Field-based Inquires for Teachers St. Petersburg, FL $100,000
McNeese State University Calcasieu-Cameron Environmental Explorers: C2E2 Lake Charles, LA $99,078
Alma Bryant High School Development and Testing of Oysters Drill Control Methods in Coastal Alabama Irvington, AL $65,204

Hawaii

Recipient Project State Amount
University of Hawaii Teaching Science as Inquiry – OPIHI Honolulu,HI $97,996
Paa Pono Milolii The Milolii Opelu Project: Providing Meaningful Outdoor Marine Science Experiences for Youth in Hawaiian Coastal Communities Milolii, HI $90,500
The Kohala Center, Inc. Kahaluu Bay HI MEET Meaningful Outdoor Experiences Kohala, HI $98,000
Hanalei Watershed Hui Ahupuaa Exploration Hanalei, HI $75,600
Learning Endeavors Watershed Citizen Science Stewardship through Digital Mapping Kahului, HI $44,501
Maui Economic Development Board Healthy Watersheds – Healthy Communities Kihei, HI $93,000
Molokai Middle School Promoting Cultural Based Knowledge Kaunakakai, HI $88,213
HI FusionED Kawa Stream Research and Remediation Project Honolulu, HI $89,683
Kakoo Oiwi Hooulu I Na Pua: Growing Student Knowledge of Heeia’s Past and Present Through Scientific Inquiry Kaneohe,HI $72,314
University of Hawaii C-STEM (Cultural-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Professional Development for the DOE’s Kupuna Program) Honolulu, HI $97,748
University of Hawaii Student Investigations in Marine Science Honolulu, HI $97,917
Paepae Heeia Kaneohe, HI Wai Momona $76,699

New England

Recipient Project State Amount
Gulf of Maine Institute Learning to Steward the Gulf West Newbury, MA $79,776
Salem Sound 2000 Inc. School to Sea Salem Salem, MA $55,538

Pacific Northwest

Recipient Project State Amount
The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association Students for Salmon Bellingham, WA $30,000
Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group Watershed Connections – Hands-on Salmon, Climate, and Ocean Science White Salmon, WA $58,795
Seattle Aquarium Citizen Science: High School Students Monitoring Nearshore Environments Seattle, WA $30,000
Port Townsend Marine Science Center The OASSIS Project (Ocean Acidification Study through Systems and Inquiry Science Port Townsend, WA $38,342
Pacific Education Institute Coastal Ecosystem Education Leadership Development and Expansion Olympia, WA $60,000
Feiro Marine Life Center North Olympic Watershed Science (NOW Science) Port Angeles, WA $54,375
Suquamish Tribe, Port Madison Reservation Indigenous Student Exchange Project – Pacific Rim Ocean Acidification Suquamish, WA $58,726
Oregon Department of State Lands The Oregon Coast Education Program Charleston, OR $60,000
Oregon State University StreamWebs Student Stewardship Network Corvallis, OR $60,000

FY15 continuing awards:

In addition to the awards listed above, B-WET provided fiscal year 2015 funding to support the following continuing projects:

California

  • California State University Channel Islands, CA
  • Friends of the Petaluma River, CA
  • Cycles of Change, CA
  • Turtle Island Restoration Network, CA
  • Sonoma County Water Agency, CA
  • Elkhorn Slough Foundation, CA
  • One Cool Earth, CA
  • Watsonville Wetlands Watch, CA
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, CA
  • Earth Team, CA

Chesapeake Bay

  • Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, VA
  • Virginia Resource Use Education Council, VA
  • Ocean Discovery Institute, VA
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation , Regional
  • Morgan State University, MD
  • Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, PA
  • Worcester County Public Schools, MD
  • Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education, MD
  • National Audubon Society - Pickering Creek, MD
  • University of MD Center for Environmental Science - Appalachian Lab, MD
  • Washington College, MD
  • National Audubon Society, Inc., PA
  • Old Dominion University Research Foundation, VA
  • Mary Baldwin College, VA
  • James River Association, VA
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., VA

New England

  • Save the Bay Inc., RI
  • Gloucester Maritime Heritage, MA
  • University of Rhode Island, RI
  • Education Connection, CT
  • University of Maine System, ME
  • Sturgis Charter Public School, MA

No new fiscal year 2015 awards were made in the Great Lakes due to availability of funds, though a 2016 competition is anticipated.

For more details about B-WET awards, please visit the regional program websites.

These B-WET grants will reach an estimated 66,000 students and 2,000 teachers this year. New awards are from one to three years in duration and range in value from $20,000 to $150,000. Grantees were selected through a rigorous peer review process administered by a NOAA program office in their region. All B-WET applicants are encouraged to partner with local NOAA offices, and/or utilize local NOAA field sites and data where appropriate.