NOAA awards $2.5 million in environmental literacy grants to build community resilience

Five projects will build the educational foundation for resilient communities in Chicago, Brooklyn, Norfolk, Tucson, Phoenix, and Fairfield County, Connecticut

NOAA’s Office of Education awarded $2.5 million in Environmental Literacy Grants to support five projects focused on helping communities build the environmental literacy necessary for resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards.

An aerial photograph of a flooded residential area. All roads and ground are covered by water. Houses, buildings, and trees are visible above the flooded areas.

Inundated New Orleans in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (Image credit: Mark Moran/NOAA)

The five selected projects will build the foundation for a resilient community through education in Chicago, Illinois; Brooklyn, New York; Norfolk, Virginia; Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Five institutions received awards for projects that will build on local resilience plans and create new partnerships between K-12 and informal education institutions and government and non-profit organizations working on resilience planning and implementation:

  • Brooklyn College/City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York
  • Elizabeth River Project, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois
  • Watershed Management Group, Tucson, Arizona

These projects focus on critical natural hazards and stresses facing these communities, including sea level rise, severe storms, drought, and extreme heat. All projects use NOAA assets, are based on established scientific evidence, and consider socio-economic and ecological factors. The selected projects incorporate a variety of approaches, including, empowering youth and adults to increase their understanding of local natural hazards and stresses; giving youth a voice in resilience planning; and student-led vulnerability assessments of their schools and communities.

These five projects were selected for funding following a highly competitive request for applications in which communities highlighted their needs for education projects that build resilience. NOAA received 170 applications from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 U.S. Territories, with a total request of more than $77 million.

For more information about these projects and NOAA's Environmental Literacy Program, please visit the 2016 competition summary page