Supporting education programs that use NOAA science to promote stewardship and informed decision making.

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program provides grants and in-kind support for programs that educate and inspire people to use Earth system science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards. We build capacity for institutions and networks to advance NOAA’s mission through formal (K-12) and informal education at national, regional, and local levels.
Three children look at a small marine organism


The core of our program is our environmental literacy grants competition. This competition is the longest standing and most comprehensive national funding opportunity focused on environmental literacy.  Since 2005, this funding opportunity has attracted the nation’s premier education institutions in advancing NOAA's mission and vision. Learn more about how to apply to this competition.

Our grants have resulted in a dramatic increase in the coverage of NOAA-related topics in museum exhibitions, K-12 curricula, online educational resources, citizen science opportunities, civic engagement events, out-of-school programs, and professional development for formal and informal educators. To date, we have supported 163 grants totaling nearly $95 million. Explore our awards portfolio


We use partnerships to extend our impact beyond grants. The Environmental Literacy Program supports long-term partnerships that enable the education community to incorporate and deliver NOAA's latest scientific information on the topics of the ocean, coasts, weather, and climate. These are mutually beneficial relationships; our partners have a proven track record in K-12 and informal education and the ability to leverage NOAA expertise and products to enrich their offerings. In turn, NOAA leverages their education capabilities to reach diverse audiences in new ways.

Advancing the field

NOAA's Office of Education created this program to build capacity within the fields of environmental and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to use NOAA assets in educationally effective ways. Projects and partners that receive support from NOAA are evaluated on their use of activity-specific, evidence-based practices. The Environmental Literacy Program staff and grantees share program successes and challenges through publications, presentations at professional meetings, and digital libraries specific to the field. The program makes an impact on science education institutions, youth and adult learners, and formal and informal educators every year.


For questions about the Environmental Literacy Program, please email