The Environmental Literacy Program offers competitive grant funding.

Education grants in support of NOAA's mission

Working at national, regional, and local levels, our funded projects educate and inspire people to use Earth systems science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards. Education plays a critical role in achieving NOAA’s mission and vision. To make the best social, economic, and environmental decisions, individuals should have the ability to understand scientific processes, consider uncertainty, and reason about the ways human and natural systems interact (NOAA's Education Strategic Plan, 2015–2035). Since 2005, our grants have supported formal (K-12) and informal education projects that cultivate these skillsets among diverse audiences.

Environmental Literacy Program grants

NOAA's Office of Education regularly offers the environmental literacy grants competition. Since 2015, this competition has focused on helping communities build the environmental literacy necessary for resilience to extreme weather, climate change, and other environmental hazards. Read about our 2018 awards

NOAA's mission is directed toward a vision of the future where communities and their ecosystems are healthy and resilient in the face of sudden or prolonged environmental change. To achieve this vision, NOAA strives to understand current conditions, project future changes, and help people make informed decisions that reduce their vulnerability and increase their ability to cope with environmental hazards. Environmental literacy grants are creating new models for how education can improve community resilience.

ELP competition status

All deadlines for the fiscal year 2020 Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) Funding Opportunity have closed. This competitive funding opportunity is designed for projects that will build environmental literacy of K-12 students and the public so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather, climate change, and/or other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience. 

This funding opportunity has two types of projects through separate competitive priorities. Priority 1 awards are intended to fund new projects located in Southern and Western Regions of the United States. 

  • The Southern Region includes the following states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, and the United States Virgin Islands. 

  • The Western Region includes the following states and territories: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. 

For Priority 1, the full application deadline was on April 2, 2020 (extended one week due to the COVID-19 pandemic).  Only those institutions that receive authorization from NOAA were eligible to submit a full application. We anticipate that Priority 1 of the next funding opportunity of this program (planned for fall of 2021) will support projects from the Central and Eastern regions, which encompass the remainder of the United States.

Priority 2 awards will support the evolution of projects funded under the 2015-2016 funding opportunities from this program (NOAA-SEC-OED-2015-2004408 and NOAA-SEC-OED-2016-2004737.) The full list of awards that support or supported eligible projects can be found here: For this priority, the deadline for full applications was on February 11, 2020.

2018-2019: Supporting the Education of K-12 Students and the Public for Community Resilience 
Competition Summary
2016-2017: Strengthening the Public's and/or K-12 Students' Environmental Literacy for Community Resilience

Competition Summary

2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Competition Summary
2013: ELG for Building Capacity of Informal and Formal Educators


2012: Ocean Education Partnership Grants


2011-2012: ELG for Formal K-12 Education


2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education


2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums


2009: ELG for Science On a Sphere Network Capacity Building


2008-2009: ELG for Formal K-12 Education


2008: ELG for Spherical Display Systems for Earth Systems Science-Installations & Content


2007: ELG for Formal K-12 Education


2007: ELG for Free-choice Learning


2006: Science On a Sphere Installation Cooperative Agreements


2006: Environmental Literacy


2005: Environmental Literacy

For questions about the Environmental Literacy Program, please email