2022-2023 Environmental Literacy Program grants

In 2022-2023, NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program awarded $6.3 million in support of 15 projects that will help communities develop the environmental literacy necessary to take actions that build resilience to extreme weather and climate change in ways that contribute to community health, social cohesion, and socio-economic equity.

Since 2015, NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program grant competitions have concentrated on community resilience education and funded approaches that are climate solutions-oriented, locally focused, and engage, educate, and empower participants to take action individually and collectively. Communities in the United States are facing challenges of not only recovering from on-going extreme weather events and climate impacts, but also preparing for a future of more frequent and damaging events caused by climate change. The geographic distribution of climate change impacts is uneven, and long-standing inequities heighten vulnerabilities for underserved groups. These grant projects enable and empower community members to implement practices that help all members to thrive and be more resilient. (See NOAA’s Community Resilience Education Theory of Change for more information on these relationships.)

More than ever before, the cohort of recipients, many of which are first-time federal grant recipients, represents organizations that are directly serving underserved and vulnerable communities. The grantees are using environmental justice approaches to create resilience in frontline communities, such as working with faith-based communities to create climate resilience leaders and creating solar installation work-based learning opportunities in public schools.

Due to extremely high demand for these types of projects, our previous competition in 2020 solicited new projects from the Southern and Western regions of the country. The 2022 competition continued this approach, soliciting new projects from the Central and Eastern regions (Priority 1). There was also a solicitation open only to awardees from projects funded from this program between 2015-2018 (Priority 2).

  • Priority 1 received 135 pre-applications submitted from 27 states, as well as the District of Columbia, with a total federal request of nearly $68 million. Only 57 of the highest ranking pre-applications were authorized to submit full applications, and 49 did so.
  • Priority 2 had a much smaller pool of potential applicants than Priority 1, and received 11 applications from nine different states, with a total federal request of more than $5.3 million.

Grantees were selected through rigorous peer review by a group of experts representing a variety of fields, including environmental justice, science education and evaluation, and resilience planning. The review panels included individuals from academia, community-based organizations, informal science education institutions, K-12 school districts, and state climatology offices. Additional details of the competition are available in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOAA-SEC-OED-2022-2006995).

The projects funded in 2022 and 2023 support local efforts to build community resilience. The projects incorporate relevant local and state resilience plans and collaborate with individuals and institutions that are involved in efforts to develop or implement those plans. The most pertinent environmental hazards and climate impacts facing these communities are addressed by these projects, such as wildfires, extreme heat, and flooding.

All projects use educational approaches that develop community-level environmental literacy to understand threats and implement solutions that build resilience to extreme weather, climate change, and other environmental hazards. Environmental literacy includes the knowledge, skills, and confidence to:

  1. reason about the ways that human and natural systems interact globally and locally, including the acknowledgement of disproportionately distributed vulnerabilities;
  2. participate in civic processes; and
  3. incorporate scientific information, cultural knowledge, and diverse community values when taking action to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from environmental hazards, including mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The funded projects use a variety of educational approaches to serve different audiences. For example:

  • Diverse groups of youth and adults learning workforce development skills within the climate-related fields. 
  • Public health officials improving their knowledge and capacity to mitigate and manage heat-related illnesses and impacts. 
  • Youth ambassadors working on resilience plans and projects to strengthen environmental justice and addressing climate impacts in their communities.  
  • Teachers and school administrators designing customized outdoor learning opportunities for students to learn about green infrastructure design and stewardship.
  • Indigenous, rural, and urban youth creating climate podcasts that focus on actionable solutions and relevant NOAA resources.
  • Community forums designing local and creative climate resilience strategies, such as repurposing derelict neighborhood lots to address local climate threats. 
  • Faith-based leaders, scientists, and resilience practitioners working in rural, coastal counties to empower, prepare and educate congregations about local climate impacts and how they can participate in civic processes around resilience.
  • Researchers co-generating resilience solutions with environmental justice organizations. 
  • Community-based organizations and libraries create spaces for youth and adults to learn about climate change and resilience through art, science, and community.



In 2023, six additional projects received a total of $2.9 million in funding. These selected projects are building the foundation for resilient communities through education in cities such as Raleigh (NC), Philadelphia (PA), Cincinnati (OH), and Detroit (MI), as well as rural communities in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.





City of Raleigh

Community Climate Education for a Resilient Raleigh

Raleigh, NC


Drexel University

Science Shop for Community Resilience

Philadelphia, PA


Eastern Michigan University

Community resilience from the youth up: a place-based education strategy for southeast Michigan

Detroit and Ypsilanti, MI


Groundwork Ohio River Valley

Engaging Youth and Frontline Communities in Climate Justice Planning and Action in Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH


Nurture Nature Center, Inc.

CREATE Connections: Linking a Vision of Resilience to Action

Lehigh Valley, PA


West Virginia University Research Corporation

Preparing Agents of Change for Tomorrow (PACT): Building Youth Confidence and Capacity for Climate Resilient Futures in Appalachia

Rural counties in West Virginia



In 2022, nine selected projects were awarded a total of $4.1 million in funding. These projects are building the foundation for resilient communities through education in rural communities in Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin; and the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota. They are also working in the cities of NYC (NY), Newark (NJ), Washington (DC), Brockton (MA), Flint (MI), and Roanoke (VA).





Carilion Medical Center

Building Heat Resilience in Southwestern Virginia through Education

Roanoke, VA


Solar One (CEC Stuyvesant Cove)

Newark Resilient Solar Initiative

Newark, NJ


Creation Justice Ministries  (Division of Homeland Ministries of the Christian Church, Inc.)

Participatory Education in Faith Communities for Climate Resilience

Coastal counties in NC, MD, and VA


Kettering University

Climate Resilient Flint: Building Community-Driven Climate Resilience through Hyperlocal Science-to-Civics Learning

Flint, MI


Manomet, Inc.

Brockton Kids Lead the Way: Enhancing Stewardship and Climate Resilience through Outdoor Education

Brockton, MA


Regents of the University of Colorado

HEART Force - Resilient Colorado

Rural counties in CO


F.H. Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center (Rockson Community Development Corp)

Nothing Without Us: Building Environmental Literacy, Resilience, and Sustainability in DC through a Multi-Partner, Community-Led Approach

Washington, DC


We Stay/Nos Quedamos, Inc.

Nos Quedamos: Youth-led Activation of Community Climate Resiliency Hubs in Melrose Commons

Bronx, NY


University of Wisconsin - Superior Climate Youth Labs (CY-Labs): Elevating Youth Voices to Promote Climate Resiliency  Minneapolis, MN; Red Lake Nation, MN; and rural communities in WI $499,853

Funding amounts listed above are full federal amounts for all years of the award. These 15 new projects are part of a growing community of practice of NOAA-funded community resilience education projects that includes 10 projects funded in 2020-2021, nine projects funded in 2018, two projects in 2017, five projects in 2016, and six projects in 2015. For more details about the projects funded in 2022 and 2023, please visit the awards webpage.