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, 2021–2040). 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 most 2015-2020 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. Read more about the theory behind these approaches in NOAA's Community Resilience Education Theory of Change.

ELP competition status

The newest (fiscal year 2022) Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) funding opportunity is now open. This competitive funding opportunity’s goal is for communities to have sufficient collective environmental literacy 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.

This funding opportunity has two types of projects through separate competitive priorities. Priority 1 awards are intended to fund new projects located in the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The entirety of a project must only serve audiences located in one or more of the listed states.

For this priority, pre-applications are required, and the deadline is 11:59 pm EDT on November 1, 2021.  Only those institutions that receive authorization from NOAA are eligible to submit a full application, which will be due 11:59 pm EDT on March 17, 2022.

Priority 2 awards will support the evolution of projects funded under the 2015-2018 funding opportunities from this program (NOAA-SEC-OED-2015-2004408, NOAA-SEC-OED-2016-2004737, and NOAA-SEC-OED-2018-2005455). For this priority, pre-applications are not required and the deadline for full applications is 11:59 pm EST on January 25, 2022.

Please check the Apply page for more information.

Competition History

2020-2021: Supporting the education of K-12 students and the public for community resilience

Competition Summary

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