2015 Environmental Literacy Program grants

Competition overview

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program offered inaugural funding focused on helping communities around our nation build the environmental literacy necessary for resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental changes. In 2015, six projects were selected for funding following a highly competitive request for applications in which communities highlighted their need for education projects that build resilience. We received 166 applications from 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with a total request of more than $75 million. These applications were reviewed by a group of experts representing the fields of science education, resilience planning, and education evaluation. Reviewers included individuals from academia, community-based non-profit organizations, local and state governments, and K-12 schools.
Additional details of the “Strengthening the Public’s and/or K-12 Students’ Environmental Literacy for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes” competition are available in the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement (NOAA-SEC-OED-2015-2004408). 


The six selected projects will build the foundation for resilient communities across the nation. Funded projects are informed by state and local resilience efforts and address the most pertinent current and future natural hazards and stresses, including sea level rise, extreme precipitation, drought, extreme heat, and other changes in climate. All projects use NOAA assets and are based on established scientific evidence and consider socio-economic and ecological factors. In this inaugural year, the selected projects incorporate a diverse set of approaches, such as science centers holding deliberative forums that engage adults in understanding and preparing for high-impact natural hazards; low-income students using a new, integrated curriculum that teaches about regionally relevant climate change impacts; and 12-18 year old students developing and implementing service projects to conserve local ecosystems.
These are the six institutions receiving awards totaling approximately $2.72 million:
  • Califa, San Mateo, California
  • Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
  • Groundwork Hudson Valley, Yonkers, New York
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, Maine
  • Nisqually River Foundation, Olympia, Washington
  • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Project descriptions are located on our searchable list of awards

More about this program

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 changes. Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG) are a subcomponent of this program. Resilience became the focus of ELG in 2015. These investments will create new models for how education can improve community resilience. The goal is to strengthen the public’s and/or K-12 students’ environmental literacy to enable informed decision-making necessary for community resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental changes. Funded projects build geographic awareness and an understanding of Earth systems and the threats and vulnerabilities that are associated with a community’s location.