Impacts

Educating and inspiring people to use Earth system science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards.

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) provides competitive grants and in-kind support for K-12 and informal education programs that educate and inspire people to use Earth system science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards. The program also builds capacity for institutions and networks to advance NOAA’s mission through formal and informal education at national, regional, and local levels.

Since 2015, ELP has funded projects that build the environmental literacy of children, youth, and adults so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather, climate change, and other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience. The new ELP Community Resilience Education Theory of Change articulates the outcomes that are sought and being achieved through these investments. Summative evaluation reports and links to project summaries are available for more information about completed ELP community resilience education projects.

2021 impacts

  • 185 institutions —from 42 states and 2 territories (including the District of Columbia— advanced NOAA’s mission to enhance awareness and understanding of Earth system science through ELP-supported formal (K-12) and informal education. 

  • More than 1,000 educators participated in ELP-supported professional development to enhance their understanding of NOAA-related topics and provide guidance on how to apply knowledge, skills, and NOAA resources to educate others.

  • More than 8,500 K-12 students participated in ELP-supported formal education programs.

  • More than 9,900 children, youth, and adults participated in ELP-supported informal education programs.

NOAA ELP: Statistics on all awards

Since the program's inception in 2005, ELP has awarded a total of 145 environmental literacy grants to 96 institutions nationwide for a total of $81,475,650 in funding. The charts below illustrate the number of open ELP grants and the amount of federal funds expended through ELP.

ELP grants (open) per fiscal year

The chart below shows the total number of new and continuing grants that accepted federal funding and received in-kind support per fiscal year from ELP in each fiscal year.

The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

Chart showing total number of new and continuing grants per fiscal year

NOAA ELP grants funding per fiscal year

The chart below shows the total amount of federal funding ELP expended per fiscal year. 
The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. 
Please note that the federal funding period is the fiscal year for which federal funding was appropriated by Congress.

Chart that shows the total amount of federal funding ELP expended per fiscal year

NOAA ELP: Statistics on community resilience education

In 2015, recognizing a gap in educational approaches, the focus of ELP competitions evolved from building individual’s understanding about global climate change to supporting community involvement in locally focused, solutions-oriented resilience efforts. This change afforded a greater emphasis on helping communities learn about and find solutions to the observed and anticipated impacts of extreme weather, climate change, and other environmental hazards. The response to this change has been remarkable — 849 applications with a total federal funding request of over $385 million have been submitted from all 50 states and U.S. territories. This response highlights the strong demand for NOAA’s expertise and science education resources to help communities become more resilient through formal K-12 and informal education. Given this response, ELP community resilience education competitions have been highly competitive, with an estimated 4% of the reviewed applications receiving federal funding. 

To date, ELP has awarded a combined total of 32 grants to 29 institutions nationwide for a total of $14,794,738 in federal funding. 

The charts below illustrate the number of ELP resilience-related grants operating and the amount of funds expended through ELP.
 

NOAA ELP community resilience education grants (open) per fiscal year

The chart below shows the total number of new and continuing grants per fiscal year. 
The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. 

Chart that shows the total number of new and continuing resilience grants per fiscal year

NOAA ELP community resilience education grants funding per fiscal year

The chart below shows the total amount of federal funding ELP expended per fiscal year for community resilience education. 
The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. 
Please note that the federal funding period is the fiscal year for which federal funding was appropriated by Congress. 

chart that shows the total amount of federal funding ELP expended per fiscal year for community resilience education.

NOAA ELP community resilience education grants and climate risk areas

The chart below shows climate risk areas addressed by new and continuing grants in fiscal 2021 focused on building community resilience through education. Please note that most new and continuing grants address more than one climate risk area.

chart that shows climate risk areas addressed by new and continuing grants in fiscal 2021 focused on building community resilience through education

NOAA ELP community resilience education grants & geographic impact

ELP’s community resilience education grantees have served thousands of children, youth, and adults from 39 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have supported education efforts to build their environmental literacy so they have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to assist their communities in becoming resilient to climate change and extreme weather in 210 counties — about 40 percent of which are considered rural and/or persistent-poverty areas. To see the geographic impact of NOAA’s ELP community resilience education grantees, view a map offsite link of all the grantees and the counties where their projects’ activities occurred or are occurring — and/or download the data. Note: this map shows closed and open awards. 

In the map the:

blue dots indicate an institution that has received a community resilience education award from ELP. Click on the blue dot, and a pop-up window will appear with information about the institution and the awards in which they are involved, such as funding amount, major partners, focus areas of award(s), related resilience plans, and links to additional information online. Note: Some institutions have received more than one award and may be involved in awards led by other institutions. In these instances, there will be more than one entry within the pop-up window. To see the multiple entries, click the arrows at the top of the pop-up window.

grey shaded counties indicate where an impact is occurring or has occurred from an award. Click on a shaded county, and a pop-up window will appear with information about the award(s) serving that county, such as the lead institution, major project partners, and the focus areas of the award(s).