Funding Opportunities

Sometimes funding a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience can be outside of your classroom budget. If you are looking for a way to finance field trips for your students or buy supplies to install an outdoor classroom on your school grounds, the list below will link you to relevant grant programs in your state.

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Maryland’s Aquatic Resources Education (ARE) Grants Program provides small grants to fund aquatic-based learning activities for schools -- in classrooms, on school grounds, or for off-campus field experiences for students.

Organization
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Who Should Apply
Funding is offered to assist public and private schools (preK-12) and environmental education centers that are part of the public school system.
Amount
Up to $2,500 per year for individual schools for learning activities and stewardship projects tied to the curriculum that benefit Maryland’s aquatic resources. Up to $5,000 to serve multiple schools through school districts or county environmental or outdoor education centers that are part of the public school system.
Deadline
ARE Grants have a rolling deadline annually beginning July 15 and extending throughout the school year, until all available funding has been awarded. But please allow 4-6 weeks for approval before you start your project.
State(s)
Maryland
Contact

This grant program seeks to fund programs and initiatives that advance environmental literacy and result in students having the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation to take informed and responsible actions to protect and improve the environment. The Trust knows this continues to be a challenging time for school districts and environmental education organizations and welcomes adaptations and innovative approaches to (1) MWEEs meeting COVID-19 restrictions and (2) addressing barriers to advancing environmental literacy at the district and state level. Eligible projects for this funding opportunity fall under two tracks listed below. For more detail about the grant program and eligible projects see the Request for Proposals (RFP). As always, if you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Organization
Chesapeake Bay Trust
Who Should Apply
Maryland school districts, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, higher education institutions, community associations, and more.
Amount
Track 1 Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Implementation: Proposals for up to $40,000 per year for up to three years for projects that focus on piloting (one-year requests) or embedding systemic (multiyear requests) MWEEs into school district’s curriculum. The MWEE model integrates best practices of environmental education pedagogy where students investigate local environmental issues through classroom and outdoor experiences, engage in problem solving, and take action to address their issue through projects and civic engagement. Track 2 Environmental Literacy Capacity Building: Proposals for up to $40,000 for a year (latest project end date August 2023) for district or state-wide environmental literacy capacity building and collaboration efforts that advance environmental literacy, including MWEEs, within school district(s).
Deadline
Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 4pm EST
State(s)
Maryland
Contact

Administered through Department of Environmental Protection, funds are used for projects ranging from creative, hands-on lessons for students, teacher training programs, and outdoor learning resources to conservation education for adults. Funds can be used to provide education resources, materials, equipment, and transportation to support creative, hands-on environmental education lessons for students.

Organization
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Who Should Apply
Public and private schools.
Amount
Mini-Grants up to $3,000 General Grants (Require 20% Match): Level I up to $20,000, Level II up to $85,0000
Deadline
December (Annual)
State(s)
Pennsylvania
Contact

The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation will award up to $1.5 million in 2020 through our competitive Environmental Education and Stewardship grants program. Eligible organizations include nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and public and private K-12 schools in communities served by Dominion Energy companies (see website).

Organization
Dominion Energy
Who Should Apply
Non profit organizations and K-12 schools
Amount
The maximum grant award is $25,000 for nonprofit organizations in areas where we have significant assets or customer base. If the project narrative and budget do not adequately support the requested funding amount, lesser amounts may be awarded. The maximum grant for K-12 schools is $5,000.
Deadline
The application period ended September 11, 2020 and Dominion Energy will announce 2020 recipients in December.
State(s)
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
Contact

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET Chesapeake) grant supports programs that provide hands-on environmental education about issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed for students through “meaningful watershed educational experiences” (MWEEs) and related professional development for educators who serve formal K-12 audiences. This year's funding announcement focuses on two Priority Areas under the theme of Capacity Building for MWEEs: (1) Statewide K-12 Environmental Literacy Initiatives, which advance state efforts toward systemic MWEE implementation at the school district level, and, (2) Regional MWEE Network Building Initiative, which supports the development of systemic MWEEs in school districts and the networking of these school districts, their partners, and the larger environmental education community.

Organization
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Who Should Apply
K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher education, community-based and nonprofit organizations, state or local government agencies, interstate agencies, and Indian tribal governments
Amount
up to $200,000 annually (regional) up to $100,000 annually (statewide)
Deadline
March 1, 2021 (annual)
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

Clif Bar Family Foundation Small Grants support programs with measurable goals that strengthen food systems and communities, enhance public health, and safeguard the environment and natural resources.

Who Should Apply
Innovative small and mid-sized 501c3s in the US.
Amount
Up to $7,000
Deadline
February 1st (Annual), June 1st (Annual), and October 1st (Annual)
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

EPA Environmental Education Grants support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.

Organization
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Who Should Apply
Schools and school systems, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations and state and local government agencies. (A teacher's school district, an educator's not-for-profit organization, or a faculty member's college or university may apply, but an individual teacher is not eligible)
Amount
Minimum award is $15,000 and the maximum is $100,000
Deadline
December 6th, 2021
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

The Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant Program supports meaningful outdoor learning experiences around a watershed issue investigation including field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects, schoolyard habitat projects as well as teacher professional development trainings and programs to advance environmental literacy.

Organization
Chesapeake Bay Trust
Who Should Apply
Schools, nonprofit organizations, community associations, faith-based organizations and more in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed portions of D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Amount
Up to $5,000.
Deadline
January (Annual), and June (Annual)
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

The NOAA Office of Education has issued a competitive funding opportunity for education projects designed 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 hazards. Successful projects will advance NOAA’s mission and build the environmental literacy necessary for community resilience by focusing on geographic awareness and an understanding of Earth systems and the threats and vulnerabilities that are associated with a community’s location.

Organization
NOAA Office of Education
Who Should Apply
Institutions of higher education; other nonprofits, including informal education institutions such as museums, zoos, and aquariums; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems; and state, local and Indian tribal governments in the United States
Amount
Proposed projects should be between two and five years in duration and have total budget requests of $250,000 to $500,000 for all years of the project.
Deadline
For Priority 1, the deadline for pre-applications (required) 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. For Priority 2, pre-applications are not required and the deadline for full applications is 11:59 pm EST on January 25, 2022. It is anticipated that awards under this announcement will be made by September 30, 2022, and that the projects funded under this announcement in fiscal year 2022 will have a start date no earlier than October 1, 2022.
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

NEEF offers a variety of grants and awards to help organizations engage their local community to improve the environment, increase diversity, and expand their work locally. We routinely highlight individual and group commitment to nature through education and service. In 2019, NEEF provided nearly $700,000 in grants and awards to educational (both formal and informal) and public land partners across the country.

Organization
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)
Who Should Apply
Nonprofits
Amount
Up to $5,000
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact

NOAA is excited to be working with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to offer a grant opportunity to bring together two great programs: NOAA B-WET and the U.S. Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). These grants will enable experienced environmental education providers to work with 21st CCLC sites to deliver authentic STEM experiences emphasizing the unique assets and expertise of NOAA. This opportunity is open to all school districts (not only those in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed) in states that have indicated support for the "Student Goal" (MWEEs) as a part of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, including: Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Delaware, and Virginia.

Organization
NOAA
Who Should Apply
K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, state or local government agencies, interstate agencies, and Indian tribal governments
Amount
$40,000 to $100,000 ($20,000 to $50,000 per year of implementation)
Deadline
Currently closed, check back on website.
State(s)
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
Contact