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2016-2017 Environmental Literacy Grants

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program provided funding for a third year focused on building the environmental literacy necessary for community resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards.

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program supports education projects that strengthen the public’s and/or K-12 students’ fundamental understanding of the systems of the natural world and their ability to use scientific evidence to make informed decisions for building community resilience. Many U.S. communities are contending with issues related to preventing, withstanding, and recovering from disruptions caused by environmental hazards. Funded projects build the environmental literacy necessary for community resilience by fostering geographic awareness and an understanding of Earth systems and the risks that are associated with a community’s location. The 2017 and 2016 award recipients were selected from the 2016-2017 Environmental Literacy Grants competition.

Highlighting the need for this funding, the 2016 competition received 170 applications from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 U.S. Territories, with a total request of more than $77 million. Grantees were selected through rigorous peer review by a group of experts representing the fields of science education, resilience planning, and education evaluation and 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” competition are available in the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement (NOAA-SEC-OED-2016-2004737). Also, resources for preparing an application are available on the Apply page.

The 2016 and 2017 funded projects are based on local resilience plans and will create new partnerships between K-12 and informal education institutions and government and nonprofit organizations working on resilience planning and implementation. The most pertinent current and future environmental hazards and stresses facing these communities are the focus of these projects, including sea level rise, severe storms, drought, and extreme heat. All projects use NOAA assets, base their projects on established scientific evidence, and consider socio-economic and ecological factors. While the selected projects incorporate a variety of approaches, a few themes stand out: connecting community leaders and planning experts with educators and students in resilience planning; empowering youth and adults to increase their understanding of locally relevant natural hazards and stresses; giving youth a voice in resilience planning; and student-led vulnerability assessments of their schools and communities.

Awards

2017

In 2017, two new projects received a total of approximately $1 million in funding from the NOAA Office of Education’s Environmental Literacy Program. These two projects will build the foundation for a resilient community through education in Adirondacks, Catskills, and New York City, New York; and Chelsea, Hull, and Lynn, Massachusetts.

Recipient Project Location Amount
New England Aquarium Community Partnership for Resilience Boston, MA $481,110
The Natural History Museum of the Adirondack Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State Tupper Lake, NY $493,868

Funding amounts listed above are full federal award amounts for all years of the award. Project descriptions are located on our searchable list of awards page. These two new projects are part of a growing cohort of NOAA-funded resilience education projects that includes five projects funded in 2016 and six projects funded in 2015. For more details about the ELP’s awards, please visit the awards webpage.

2016

In 2016, five projects received a total of approximately $2.5 million in funding from the NOAA Office of Education’s Environmental Literacy Program. The five selected projects are building the foundation for resilient communities through education in Chicago (IL), Brooklyn (NY), Norfolk (VA), Tucson and Phoenix (AZ), and Fairfield County (CT).

Recipient Project Location Amount
Brooklyn College The Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC) Brooklyn, NY $498,570
Elizabeth River Project Preparing Norfolk Area Students for America’s Second Highest Sea Level Rise Norfolk, VA $497,774
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Sound Resilience – Get on Board! Norwalk, CT $484,955
Museum of Science and Industry Teen Advocates for Community and Environmental Sustainability Chicago, IL $498,470
Watershed Management Group Recharge the Rain Tucson, AZ $498,575

Funding amounts listed above are full federal award amounts for all years of the award. Project descriptions are located on our searchable list of awards. These five new projects are part of a growing cohort of NOAA-funded resilience education projects that includes six projects funded in 2015. For more details about the ELP’s awards, please visit the awards webpage.