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Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Schools, IHEs, and Agencies
in Multiple States for Environmental Education Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/01/21 11:59 PM Eastern Time - Electronic receipt


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, agencies, tribal governments, IHEs, and K-12 schools in multiple states for environmental education programs. First-time applicants are advised that required registrations may take at least three weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support current high-quality programs, advance the development of new, innovative programs, and foster capacity building and partnership development for programming throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. Eligible states include Maryland, Washington, DC, and parts of Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training grant program—known as Chesapeake B-WET - supports school district programs that provide hands-on outdoor watershed education for students, as well as related professional development for in-service teachers, administrators, or other educators serving K-12 students. 

Chesapeake B-WET emphasizes the development of programs that reach all students in a given grade level across an entire school district to create systemic change in school districts. Successful projects advance the environmental literacy goal of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement ( and goals of the NOAA Education Strategic Plan (see Supporting Documents below).  

Grants funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. (See  MWEEs are learner-centered experiences that focus on investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed action and civic engagement. MWEEs involve learning both outdoors and in the classroom as students engage in issue definition, outdoor field experiences, synthesis and conclusions, and stewardship and civic action. (For further details on each of these areas, see pp. 5-7 of the NOFO listed in Attached Files below.) 

This year's funding announcement is focused on Systemic MWEE Implementation and School District Capacity Building.

The goal of the program is to increase understanding and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay and its local watersheds, including the rivers, upland streams, and natural habitats found throughout the region.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166107

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

NOAA anticipates making 10-15 new awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Typical awards range from $50,000 to $150,000 annually.

Term of Contract:

Performance periods may be up to three years, but funding beyond the first increment, usually one year, is subject to the incremental funding policy described in the NOFO.

When a multi-year project is awarded, the scope of work and budget for all years is approved at the time of the award, but funding is usually provided only for the first year of the project with the remainder of the award subject to incremental funding, usually annually. NOAA anticipates continuing these multi-year awards for the entirety of their project periods; however, the agency has no obligation to provide any additional funding in connection with the award beyond the initial funding increment. Continuation of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance beyond the initial funding increment is at the sole discretion of NOAA.

No date prior to July 1, 2021 should be used as the proposed start date on proposals.


  • Agency of the county or other local government
  • City or township governments
  • Community-based Organizations; CBO(s)
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Institutions of Higher Education; IHE(s)
  • Local Governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS
  • Parochial Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Public Schools
  • School Districts
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are K-through-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.

Only school districts with more than 25% of their land mass falling in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are eligible,

For profit organizations, foreign organizations, and foreign public entities are not eligible to apply. However, for-profit and foreign organizations and foreign public entities may participate with an eligible applicant as a project partner.

Federal agencies are not eligible to receive Federal assistance under this announcement, but may be project partners.

The Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office encourages proposals involving any of these institutions.

Projects whose sole audience is outside the Chesapeake watershed are not eligible.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Informational webinars about the FY21 Chesapeake B-WET funding announcement will be held January 7, 2021, 2:00 p.m. EST and January 19, 2021, 11 a.m. EST.

To register, see

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be submitted through and must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on March 1, 2021.

Subject to the availability of funds, review of proposals will occur during the three months following the date given in this announcement that the full proposals are due to NCBO and notification, and applicants may receive communications to negotiate a potential award in April 2021. Final issuance of awards or declinations are expected by August 2021.

Applicants should apply through the website.

Potential funding applicants must register with before any application materials can be submitted, and first-time registration with can take up to three weeks or more

Each applicant (unless an exception arises under 2 C.F.R. 25) is required to:
(i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application;
(ii) Provide a valid unique entity identifier (e.g DUNS number) in its application; and
(iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information

View this opportunity on
For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

For further information, see

For related resources, see:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For assistance, contact:
Elise Trelegan
Education Specialist (Contractor)
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
(410) 226-1015 or 410-267-5660

For technical support, contact: Contact Center

Grant Coverage Areas:

Areas served include Chesapeake Bay watershed, including Maryland, the District of Columbia, and parts of Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

CFDA Number:

11.457 -- Chesapeake Bay Studies

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware;   Maryland;   New York;   Pennsylvania;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia

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