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2019 Pacific Northwest Bay-Watershed Education and Training (PNW B-WET) Program

Grants to Oregon and Washington Nonprofits, Schools,
Agencies, and IHEs for K-12 Environmental Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce

Deadline Date:

12/21/18 5:00 PM PT Hard Copy Receipt/8:59 PM PT Electronic Receipt


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Grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to Oregon and Washington schools, school districts, IHEs, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and government agencies for K-12 environmental education programs. Required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Projects may engage students with meaningful watershed learning experiences, provide related professional development for teachers, and help to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Pacific Northwest.

Program Objective:

NOAA recognizes that knowledge and commitment built from firsthand experience, especially in the context of one's community and culture, is essential for achieving environmental stewardship. Carefully selected experiences driven by rigorous academic learning standards, engendering discovery and wonder, and nurturing a sense of community will further connect students with their watershed, help reinforce an ethic of responsible citizenship, and promote academic achievement. Experiential learning techniques, such as those supported by the NOAA B-WET Program, have been shown to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), thus contributing to NOAA's obligations under the America Competes Act (33 USC 893a(a)).

Defining the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE):

The primary delivery of B-WET is through competitive funding that promotes Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom, and aim to increase the environmental literacy of all participants. Teachers should support students to investigate topics both locally and globally that are of interest to them, learn they have control over the outcome of environmental issues, identify actions available to address these issues, and understand the value of those actions.

MWEEs are defined as follows:

1. Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for Students

MWEEs for students should be learner centered and focused on questions, problems, and issues to be investigated through collecting, analyzing and sharing data; learning protocols; exploring models; and examining natural phenomena. These activities, grounded in best practices and the context of the local community and culture, help increase student interest, motivation, and attitudes toward learning, and achieve environmental stewardship. As a result of the MWEE activities students should have an understanding of basic watershed concepts, as well as the interaction between natural systems (e.g. wildlife, plants, and water cycle) and social systems (e.g. communities, transportation systems, and schools), highlighting the connection between human activity and environmental conditions. MWEEs consist of multiple components as defined below.

-Issue definition and background research: Students focus on an environmental question, problem, or issue requiring background research and investigation. They learn more about the issue through classroom instruction, the collection of data, conducting experiments, talking to experts and reviewing credible publications. This process should be age appropriate with practices growing in complexity and sophistication across the grades, starting with educator guided investigation and progressing to student-led inquiry.

-Outdoor field activities: Students participate in multiple outdoor field activities sufficient to collect the data or make observations required for answering the research questions and informing student actions, or as part of the issue definition and background research. Students should be actively involved in planning the investigation, taking measurements, or constructing the project within appropriate safety guidelines, with teachers providing instruction on methods and procedures, data collection protocols, and proper use of equipment as needed. These activities can take place off-site and/or on the school grounds.

-Stewardship action projects; Students participate in an age appropriate project during which they take action to address environmental issues at the personal or societal level. Participants in B-WET MWEE activities should understand they have control over the outcome of environmental issues, be encouraged to identify actions to address these issues and understand the value of those actions.

Examples of stewardship activities include:
-Watershed Restoration or Protection (e.g., create schoolyard habitat, planting trees or grasses, invasive species removal, community cleanup, storm water management);
-Everyday Choices (e.g., reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle, composting, energy conservation, water conservation);
-Community Engagement (e.g., presentations, social media, event-organizing, messaging at community events/fairs/festivals, mentoring, PSAs, flyers, posters); and
-Civic Action (e.g., town meetings, voting, writing elected officials/decision makers, advocating for policy change).

-Synthesis and conclusions: Students analyze and evaluate the results of projects and investigations. Students synthesize and communicate results and conclusions to an external audience such as other classrooms, schools, parents, or the community.

2. Support for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) with Students

In addition to the components identified above, NOAA recommends that the following elements are in place to fully support successful MWEE implementation with students.

-Teacher participation for the duration of the MWEE: While external partners are entirely appropriate to support MWEEs, teachers should support the experience in the classroom and in the field. Teachers are in the best position to help students make connections and draw on past lessons, serve as environmental role models, and enhance students overall outdoor education experience and should be involved in all components of the experiences detailed above. To support them in this role, teachers should have appropriate knowledge of environmental issues and watershed concepts, skill in connecting these issues to their curriculum, and competency in environmental education pedagogy, including the ability and confidence to teach outdoor lessons and to lead students in critical thinking about environmental issues.

-Integration with classroom curriculum: Experiences should be integrated into what is occurring in the classroom, and can provide authentic, age appropriate, engaging multi-disciplinary content to address academic standards. Specifically, elements of science and social studies standards related to questioning and investigation, evidence-based analysis and interpretation, model and theory building, knowledge of environmental processes and systems, skill for understanding and addressing environmental issues, and personal and civic responsibility align well with MWEEs. Non-school activities may enrich traditional classroom curriculum when needed, though this need should be documented and supported by local education agencies.

-Use of the local context for learning: The local community and environment should be viewed as a primary resource for student MWEEs. Place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of students’ schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community, and thus offering students and teachers the opportunity to explore how individual and collective decisions impact their immediate surroundings. Once a firm connection to their local environment is made, students are better positioned to expand their thinking to recognize the far-reaching implications of the decisions they make to the larger national and global environment.

-Experiences are a set of activities over time: The MWEE includes the full duration leading up to and following the outdoor field experiences. Each component should involve a significant investment of instructional time, incorporate time for reflection, and include all students. Experiences such as tours, simulations, demonstrations, or nature walks may be instructionally useful, but alone do not constitute an entire meaningful watershed educational experience as defined here.

-Includes NOAA assets, including personnel and resources: NOAA has a wealth of applicable products and services as well as a cadre of scientific and professional experts that can heighten the impact of environmental instruction both in the classroom and in the field. Additionally, environmental professionals can serve as important role models for career choices and stewardship.

3. Teacher Professional Development for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs)

Teachers should be skilled in using environmental education and MWEEs to address multiple subjects’ curriculum standards and local education agency initiatives. In order to gain and maintain environmental education competencies, teachers need access to sustained, high quality professional development that includes ongoing support and feedback. Teachers should gain confidence in the value of MWEEs and strategies for conducting them so that they will conduct MWEES after the B-WET supported program has ended. Specifically, the following elements are recommended for professional development to support teachers implementing MWEEs:

-Increases teachers’ knowledge and awareness of environmental issues: Teachers must have an adequate level of content knowledge for their MWEE topic area specific to their grade level and discipline, including an understanding of basic watershed concepts and the human connection to the watershed. Recognizing that environmental issues often include different perspectives and opinions, teachers must also have a deep understanding of the facts related to environmental issues along with an understanding of the various stakeholder values. In addition, teachers who demonstrate environmentally responsible attitudes and behaviors may be role models for their students and increase their ability to guide students in actions to address complex environmental issues.

-Models environmental education pedagogy: Facilitators/trainers should utilize the same techniques and experiences in trainings that teachers are expected to use with their students, such as hands-on, place-based, outdoor field experiences and environmental issue investigation and action.

-Allows for adequate instructional time: Professional Development trainings should be multi-day, occurring consecutively or over the course of several months. Trainings should include ample opportunity for teachers to reflect on their own teaching practices and planning for how to use knowledge and skills gained from professional development in the classroom.

-Provides ongoing teacher support and appropriate incentives: Even in cases where teachers participate in robust multi-day trainings, such as a summer or weekend courses, it is still essential that professional development providers have a structure in place for on-going teacher support and enrichment. This can take the form of follow up meetings, creating web-based forums for communication and feedback, establishing mentor teachers who can serve as points of contact, or including teams of teachers from one particular school. Continuing education credits and stipends can be used to encourage participation in on-going professional development opportunities. Outreach and training opportunities for school administrators may help increase high level support for both environmental education and continuing teacher professional development for teachers.

-Meets jurisdictional guidelines for effective teacher professional development: Each jurisdiction has established guidance and recommendations germane to all forms of teacher professional development. When possible, professional development opportunities in environmental education should adhere to these general guidelines set forth by local education agencies.

Program Priorities:

Proposals must address one of the two areas of interest (described below in detail):

Long-term classroom-integrated Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for Students combined with Teacher Professional Development for MWEEs that demonstrate a connection to the ocean environment through the watershed system. The idea is that students understand how their actions can affect the coastal/ocean environment through the watershed system.

Priority will be given to programs that incorporate science and stewardship activities focused on the issues of ocean acidification and hypoxia.

Additionally, priority will be given to applicants who 1) serve underserved or underrepresented audiences, 2) show prior experience in working in the Pacific Northwest region, and / or 3) demonstrate partnerships with local organizations in the Pacific Northwest region on proposed projects.

All proposals submitted, regardless of the area of interest, should address the following universal elements:

-Involve external sharing and communication: Projects should promote peer-to-peer sharing and emphasize the need for external sharing and communication. Projects should include a mechanism that encourages the students to share their experiences with other students or with the community, e.g., through a mentoring program, newsletters, journals, or community presentations.

-Demonstrate partnerships: Project proposals should include multiple partners. A partnership is a collaborative working relationship between two or more organizations. All partners should be actively involved in the project, not just supply equipment or curricula. Letters from each partner must be submitted with the application package to demonstrate the level of commitment and involvement.

-Be aligned to state learning standards.

-Be aligned to the NOAA Education Plan.

-Be aligned to environmental literacy principles, as appropriate.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177166

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

NOAA anticipates making approximately 8 to 9 awards in FY 2019.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The total Federal amount that may be requested from NOAA should not exceed $60,000. The minimum Federal amount to request from NOAA is $30,000. NOAA does not expect to consider applications requesting Federal support from NOAA for more than $60,000 or less than $30,000.

Term of Contract:

The project start date should not begin before July 1, 2019. The period of awards may be for a maximum period of up to 12 months. Applications must include a project description and a budget for the entire award period. Applicants selected to receive funding may be asked to modify the project start date. It is recommended to include the flexibility of the requested start date in your project description.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are 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.

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 as a project partner with an eligible applicant.

Federal agencies are not allowed to receive funds under this announcement but may serve as collaborative project partners and may contribute services in kind. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

While applicants do not need to be located in the targeted geographical regions specified in the program objectives, the primary participants of the projects must be located in the geographical regions specified in the program objectives.

The Department of Commerce/NOAA 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 B-WET program encourages proposals involving any of the above institutions as well as other organizations that work with underserved or underrepresented audiences.

Construction is not an allowable activity under this program. Therefore, applications will not be accepted for construction projects.

Pre-Application Information:

It is recommended that applicants interested in including NOAA personnel should contact NOAA representatives early in their planning process.

Electronic applications must be received by 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time /11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 21, 2018 to be considered for funding. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online through

Use of requires an advance registration process that may take a few days or several weeks. In addition, when developing your submission timeline, keep in mind that it may take up to two business days to validate or reject a submitted application. Because first-time registration with can take up to three weeks or more, it is strongly recommended that this registration process be completed as soon as possible.

If has technical issues that prohibit submission or is otherwise impractical, hard copy applications will be accepted. Hard copies may be submitted by postal mail, commercial delivery service, or hand-delivery, but must be received (not postmarked) by 5:00 PM Pacific Time on December 21, 2018.

No cost sharing is required under this program. Applicants may demonstrate cost sharing (including third party in-kind match) and program leveraging to support their projects, but this is not included in the eligibility or evaluation criteria.

National B-WET Website:

NOAA Education Resources:

How to Apply:

View this opportunity on

Contact Information:

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

Kevin Grant
NOAA Pacific Northwest B-WET Grants Manager
NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Jacqueline Laverdure
NOAA Pacific Northwest B-WET Program Coordinator
NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Bronwen Rice
NOAA B- WET National Coordinator
NOAA Office of Education
202- 482-6797

Hard copy applications should be mailed to:

Kevin Grant
NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
115 East Railroad Avenue, Suite #301
Port Angeles, WA 98362

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon;   Washington