Current Grants

The following projects have been funded during the past five B-WET grant cycles (fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). Links to information on awards from prior fiscal years are available at the bottom of this page.

“B-WET funding” and “nonfederal match” are the amounts applied to the project to date. For some projects, additional federal funds and match are planned for future fiscal years.

District of Columbia

Organization: Alice Ferguson Foundation
School District Partner: District of Columbia Public Schools
Grant Number: NA15NMF4570202
Project Title: Action Projects and Teacher Professional Development for Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences in District of Columbia Public Schools and Charter Schools
Overview: For this project, the Alice Ferguson Foundation and partners work with District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools to develop and pilot curriculum-based, hands-on action projects for fifth-grade students. Teachers also receive training in implementation of a full meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE), including action projects, through hands-on summer teacher institutes and workshops, teacher-to-teacher mentoring, and support through online resources. This project leverages significant funding from the District Department of Environment to implement school outreach and overnight field study experiences for 6,000 fifth-grade students over two years.
Duration: July 2015-December 2019
B-WET Funding: $294,098
Nonfederal Match: $54,749


Organization: ShoreRivers
School District Partners: Talbot County Public Schools, Dorchester County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA19NMF4570162
Project Title: ShoreRivers' Sturgeon Discovery Program: A Collaborative Third-Grade MWEE with Talbot and Dorchester County Public Schools
Overview: ShoreRivers is partnering with Talbot and Dorchester County Public Schools to implement a third-grade meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) through which students investigate a mysterious endangered species native to the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic sturgeon. Through interdisciplinary curriculum students research the importance of sturgeon and answer the question, “how do human actions on land impact sturgeon habitat in our local rivers?” Students become stewards as they create an action project to benefit Atlantic sturgeon based on Maryland Department of Natural Resources tracking data, collected water quality and habitat data, and schoolyard assessments. Throughout this year-long program, participating teachers receive professional development focused on MWEEs and strengthening local partnerships.
Duration: July 2019-June 2022
B-WET Funding: $209,930
Nonfederal Match: $31,260

Organization: Towson University
School District Partner: Baltimore City Public Schools
Grant Number: NA19NMF4570072
Project Title: Harbor Scholars Professional Learning Workshop
Overview: Harbor Scholars is a professional development program designed to increase the capacity of all fifth-grade science teachers in the Baltimore City Public School system to effectively facilitate and support student engagement in the existing MWEE embedded within the Grade 5 Save the Bay unit. A major focus of the Harbor Scholars program is building teacher capacity to foster student agency and facilitate student-led inquiry throughout the MWEE, particularly with respect to the action project. All students of Harbor Scholars participants will visit the Inner Harbor on a field trip to explore how actions in their schoolyards and communities are connected with and affect the Chesapeake Bay.
Duration: May 2020 - May 2023
B-WET Funding: $448,345

Organization: Howard County Conservancy
School District Partner: Howard County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA15NMF4570194
Project Title: Watershed Report Card: Students as Researchers and Advocates
Overview: In this project, ninth- and tenth-grade students take part in a replicable, yearlong assessment of their watershed and subwatersheds. A student-developed watershed report card is their final product, serving as the evaluation tool students use to advocate with county leaders. The goals and objectives for this project include:
> Provide the opportunity for all Howard County public high school ninth- and tenth-grade biology students to participate in quarterly watershed analysis activities, examine and critique local policies, advocate with decisionmakers, and make informed environmental decisions.
> Develop and offer professional development for Howard County Public School System high school biology teachers on the watershed report card and related curriculum extensions.
Duration: July 2015-June 2019
B-WET Funding: $309,146
Nonfederal Match: $181,142

Organization: Hood College
School District Partner: Frederick County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA16NMF4570296
Project Title: Project STEM: Schoolyard Thermal Evaluation and Mitigation
Overview: Project STEM involves high school teachers and students from both foundation of technology classes and environmental science or biology classes in two interrelated meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) for Frederick County Public Schools. By leveraging the assets developed by the Hood College Center for Coast and Watershed Studies, the GLOBE program, and the NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, Project STEM employs schoolyards as sites to monitor and assess the effects of thermal pollution on local stream health. Students completing the program will understand the importance of urban environments as “heat islands” and the methods needed to mitigate their thermal effects on nearby waterways.
Duration: July 2016-June 2019
B-WET Funding: $214,098
Nonfederal Match: $59,610

Organization: Charles County Board of Education in partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570165
Project Title: Charles County Public Schools Bridging the Watershed Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)
Overview: Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will design and implement a systematic integrated MWEE that will be embedded in seventh-grade life science and at the high school level in the content areas of biology and Earth systems in Charles County, Maryland. CCPS will partner with the Alice Ferguson Foundation and utilize their “Bridging the Watershed” program, which includes student stream monitoring in public parks and streams on school campuses. Students will also conduct small-scale action projects that will include riparian buffer and stormwater plantings, nonnative plant removal, and planting native vegetation on school grounds.
Duration: July 2017-June 2020
B-WET Funding: $226,536
Nonfederal Match: $21,584

Organization: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570273
Project Title: Making the Link: Aligning MWEEs with NGSS and MD E-Lit through Professional Learning Community and Targeted Resources
Overview: The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will initiate and facilitate a Maryland MWEE professional learning community that is focused on developing, revising with peer feedback, and implementing NGSS/E-Lit-based MWEEs and can ultimately become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. It will create a Maryland MWEE peer advisory system to support development and implementation of NGSS/E-Lit-based MWEEs. Narratives for success will be written that describe existing successful NGSS/E-Lit-based MWEE development processes and implementations as well as community members’ reflections as they develop and implement their own standards-based MWEEs. A Maryland standards-based MWEE toolkit will be organized with existing and new resources that supports development and implementation of NGSS/E-Lit-based MWEEs within and beyond the grant period. Principal investigators will disseminate the project’s process and products with other education professionals through partners’ websites, conferences, and statewide and regional partnership groups
Duration: September 2017-August 2020
B-WET Funding: $198,759

Organization: Pickering Creek Audubon Center
School District Partner: Wicomico County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570322
Project Title: Audubon Chesapeake Exploration (ACE) with Wicomico County Public School Students and Teachers
Overview: This project is led by the Pickering Creek Audubon Center, part of the nationwide network of Audubon Centers, located in Easton, Maryland. The driving question of this project is “how does human activity impact aquatic and avian wildlife populations in Chesapeake Bay ecosystems?” ACE will serve all sixth-grade teachers and students from the five schools in Wicomico County Public Schools. It includes teacher trainings, investigative outdoor experiences, student-driven stewardship action projects, and synthesis and conclusion components to find solutions at the community level to address issues facing the Bay and Atlantic Flyway. The multiple investigative outdoor experiences on school grounds and at the Center will build a sense of pride and ownership for each teacher and student. Programming leads up to stewardship action projects which align with science curriculum, common core goals, and Next Generation Science Standards.
Duration: August 2018-July 2021
B-WET Funding: $112,652
Nonfederal Match: $5,348

Organization: National Aquarium Inc.
School District Partner: Baltimore City Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570312
Project Title: “What Lives in the Harbor?” Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience
Overview: The Aquarium will scale the successful pilot of “What Lives in the Harbor?” to serve 3,600 sixth-grade students and 71 teachers in Baltimore City Public Schools by 2021. The program connects Baltimore City students with the aquatic world of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and helps them grasp how their decisions and actions can achieve a healthy harbor. The project’s central question is “What organisms live in the harbor and why are they important?” The overall experience includes 24-50 hours of diverse teacher professional development including one-on-one sessions and field experiences at the Aquarium. Student preparation occurs in the classroom and is followed by a three-hour field experience on the Aquarium’s waterfront campus. The field experience uses a local context for learning and allows students direct access to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It also prepares students to identify action projects they can take in their community to improve the health of the Inner Harbor. A culminating family night at the Aquarium allows students to showcase their completed action projects.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
B-WET Funding: $144,632
Nonfederal Match: $41,303

Organization: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
School District Partner: Calvert County and St. Mary’s County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570316
Project Title: Wave of Plastic: Student Inquiry of Plastic Waste and its Impacts on Marine Ecosystems
Overview: The UMCES’s Chesapeake Biological Lab in Solomon Island, Maryland, is facilitating this MWEE project with the Calvert County Public Schools and St. Mary’s County Public Schools. The project will serve all 43 science teachers from both counties and one art/media teacher per school. In all 2,220 eighth-grade students in CCPS in SMCPS will be reached. The project goals are to increase the environmental literacy, knowledge, and research skills of teachers and students through their MWEE experiences, establish collaborative partnerships amongst school districts, and foster environmental stewardship. In addition, this instructional program aims to increase participants’ civic connections with local communities. The desire is that students will talk to their communities about land-sea connections, the usage of plastics, and impacts of plastic pollution. Ultimately, students will make informed environmental choices related to plastic reduction and disposal into their local waterways, the Chesapeake Bay, and the ocean.
Duration: September 2018-August 2021
B-WET Funding: $139,579


Organization: Pennsylvania State University
School District Partner: Bald Eagle Area School District
Grant Number: NA19NMF4570073
Project Title: Headwater Investigations for Kids and Educators to Promote Watershed Research and Stewardship (HIKERS)
Overview: For this project, the Penn State Center for Science and the Schools and Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center are partnering with Bald Eagle Area School District to develop and pilot curriculum for second-grade, fifth-grade, and high school students. Teachers (6 high school teachers and 14 elementary school teachers) and students will build their understanding of watershed dynamics by connecting activities and action projects in the headwaters (Bald Eagle Creek watershed) to conditions located downstream in an effort to promote environmental stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay. The HIKERS program will engage approximately 160 high school students and 235 elementary students in MWEEs annually, totaling 590 students over three years.
Duration: January 2020-December 2022
B-WET Funding: $296,236

Organization: National Audubon Society-Pennsylvania
School District Partners: York City, Carlisle Area, and Harrisburg Public Schools
Grant Number: NA16NMF4570292
Project Title: Learn, Explore, and Restore our Watersheds
Overview: Audubon Pennsylvania will continue and expand its Learn, Explore, and Restore our Watershed project—a multifaceted program working directly with students and teachers in York, Carlisle, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This is a systemic environmental education program that engages elementary students in their local and regional watersheds during multiple grades over multiple years. The project provides high-quality and high-impact watershed experiences that are imbedded into their classroom learning. Volunteers are recruited and trained to assist with the implementation of the program. This partnership will increase teacher capacity to implement meaningful watershed learning in their classroom. National Audubon works closely with teachers and administrators to fully integrate the Chesapeake Bay watershed into their curriculum through in-class and field experiences at local natural areas. The project culminates in habitat restoration projects focusing on enhancing the quality of the water for the people and wildlife throughout the watershed. Technology is incorporated into the project including using data from NOAA’s Data Education Project, materials, GIS mapping, FieldScope, Ebird, and other citizen science programs.
Duration: August 2016-July 2019
B-WET Funding: $210,000
Nonfederal Match: $180,000

Organization: Stroud Water Research Center
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570274
Project Title: Pennsylvania Environmental Literacy and MWEE Programming Capacity Building
Overview: Stroud Water Research Center will lead a collaborative statewide Pennsylvania capacity-building project with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks, and a university science education professor. This project leadership team will engage a diverse Pennsylvania watershed education task force of K-12 and informal watershed education stakeholders. Activities and delivery methods include monthly leadership team meetings, daylong Pennsylvania Watershed Education Task Force meetings, regional stakeholder sessions to determine current best practices in K-12 watershed education, reviewing K-12 environmental education standards, and identify career pathways in environmental sciences and STEM.
Duration: July 2017-June 2020
B-WET Funding: $199,137
Nonfederal Match: $16,212

Organization: St. Francis University
School District Partners: Bedford Area, Chestnut Ridge, Harmony Area, and Hollidaysburg Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570317
Project Title: Headwaters to Estuaries: Enhancing Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences with Immersive Technology
Overview: The project will reach 24 teachers and 1,100 fifth- through ninth-grade students from four Pennsylvania school districts. It will use the stormwater best management practices (BMP) as an organizing principle to engage middle-school students in a visual and critically important environmental issue. Because stormwater is in everyone’s backyard, students will have ready access to hands-on field work near their school. In addition, because many stormwater BMPs are low-tech, students will be able to translate their study directly into action projects that help improve the local environment. The project will be enhanced with an immersive virtual environment—think planetarium, but with watershed data instead of stars. Teachers and students will be trained by Science Outreach Center staff to use the planetarium for analysis of field data and presentation of project results. The MWEEs will culminate in the design and implementation of a watershed BMP on the grounds of the school or in the participants’ local community. Student teams will present findings at an annual watershed festival hosted by St. Francis University.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
B-WET Funding: $110,000

Organization: Gettysburg College
School District Partners: Camp Hill, Shippensburg Area, Conewago Valley, and Littlestown Area Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570320
Project Title: What’s in the Water? Investigating and Controlling Runoff in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed of Pennsylvania
Overview: Gettysburg College’s Advancing Science (AdSci) program is partnering with four school districts in south central Pennsylvania. This MWEE will target 132 teachers (all grade four through six teachers) and their students (5,160 students) along with a secondary audience of core content teachers and school administrators. Participants will learn how three types of environmental pollutants—sediment, road salt, and nutrient load—in stormwater runoff negatively impact local their watershed and Bay. Each grade level of teachers and students will investigate different types of pollution in order to contribute answers to the driving question. The fourth grade will investigate sediment, the fifth grade will learn about road salt, and sixth grade will learn about nutrients. The AdSci staff will provide support for teachers and students through the delivery of equipment and supplies to classrooms and field sites, teacher developments, and investigation activity modules. In addition, the mobile staff will provide classroom support through team teaching and guidance for outreach to greater community. They will also guide teachers on facilitating outdoor investigations for students to synthesize data, make conclusions, and develop student action projects (e.g. planting on school grounds to help control sediment runoff).
Duration: August 2018-July 2021
B-WET Funding: $146,789
Nonfederal Match: $8,539

Organization: Northbay
School District Partner: School District of Lancaster
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570318
Project Title: NorthBay and School District of Lancaster Systemic MWEE Program for Middle-School Teachers and Students
Overview: This project will serve more than 2,500 sixth- through eighth-grade students in the School District of Lancaster. There are three guiding questions for this project: How do your choices affect your future? How do your choices affect your community? and How do your choices affect the environment? A partnership with the Lancaster County Conservancy will help to expose teachers and students to beautiful and accessible local preserves managed for the health of the watershed. This MWEE will provide both the students and teachers a mix of services—direct instruction, independent research, hands-on field investigations, and peer-to-peer and public presentations of findings. Students will experience this in multiday residential and single-day formats. The goal of the MWEE is to fully integrate inquiry-based learning using investigations of the Chesapeake Bay watershed into all School District of Lancaster middle schools. The project will create environmentally literate teachers and students who have a strong connection to the Chesapeake Bay.
Duration: August 2018-July 2021
B-WET Funding: $111,605
Nonfederal Match: $93,901

Organization: Chesapeake Bay Foundation 
School District Partners: Capital Area and Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU) school districts across Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry counties.
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570319
Project Title: Systemic Solutions: Advancing Environmental Literacy and Supporting Clean Water Initiatives in the Susquehanna Watershed
Overview: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Harrisburg office will systemically integrate and align MWEEs into the curricular sequences for all south central Pennsylvania participating schools and produce 8-12 MWEEs within various class subjects. The project leadership team will provide professional learning opportunities and create access to resources for participating teachers including; curriculum writing workshops, and CBF’s Chesapeake Classrooms Professional Learning Courses, pilot the implementation of the MWEE, and resources such as the Environmental Literacy Model and Educator’s Guide to the MWEE. Students will learn about water quality issues and conduct inquiry-based investigations on the schoolyard and at local sites. They will synthesize information to draw conclusions and develop actionable claims that culminate in student-led stewardship projects. The intended outcome for students is to engage as environmental stewards with local community entities to support clean water initiatives.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
B-WET Funding: $110,907
Nonfederal Match: $24,138


Organization: Elizabeth River Project
School Division Partner: Chesapeake Public Schools
Grant Number: NA19NMF4570117
Project Name: Project Blue Crab: Fourth Graders Take Action to Protect a Chesapeake Bay Fishery
Overview: The nonprofit Elizabeth River Project, located in southeast Virginia, will engage all fourth graders in Chesapeake Public Schools in intensive study of the Atlantic blue crab. The goal will be for them to understand and find ways to address the impacts of sea level rise on river life, themselves, and their community. Watermen, folk musicians, and the Elizabeth River Project’s Dominion Energy Learning Barge and Paradise Creek Nature Park all will play roles in the project. The program begins with several teacher workshops at Paradise Creek Nature Park and continues with student field investigations aboard the Learning Barge and school assemblies that include Ray Wicker, a waterman from Wicker’s Crab Pot, nautically themed folk musicians Bob and Jeanne Zentz, and Virginia Marine Resource Commission staff. More than 100 Chesapeake teachers and their 3,000 students will be involved over three years. Students not only will learn sciences related to Virginia Standards of Learning, but will plan and carry out hands-on projects to make a positive difference. They will be invited to present results at a spring Youth Resilience Expo with Elizabeth River Project.
Duration: July 2019-June 2022
B-WET Funding: $314,993

Organization: Virginia Commonwealth University
School Division Partners: Charles City County Public Schools, Colonial Heights Public Schools, New Kent County Public Schools, Newport News Public Schools
Grant Number: NA19NMF4570081
Project Name: Bivalves as Ecosystems Sustaining Treasures (BEST) in Bay Watersheds
Overview: This initiative will transform student understanding of the importance of protecting their local watershed along the James River in Virginia. Bivalves will be used as the contextual theme connecting inland riverine and coastal marine ecosystems along an ecological continuum. Students will engage in hands-on investigations using NOAA education modules informed by aligned research from scientists and graduate students from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Life Sciences and the VCU School of Education. Students will collect data on water quality to support bivalves in their watersheds and exchange data among schools. Students will share their projects with local audiences, academic researchers, other schools, and state representatives. Utilizing the James River and local watersheds as field sites, teachers and students will investigate bivalve ecosystems across different geographic regions, looking at issues such as defining local watersheds, human impact on watersheds, water quality to support bivalve habitats, threatened and endangered species, invasive species, and the economically valuable commercial fisheries that bivalves (e.g. oysters) support. Through hands-on field studies, students from diverse backgrounds will investigate and communicate solutions from their stewardship projects locally, at the Rice Rivers Center, and the Virginia State Capitol to advocate for policy change aligned with their findings.
Duration: July 2019-June 2022
B-WET Funding: $447,599
Nonfederal Match: $32,638

Organization: Boxerwood Nature Center
School Division Partners: Buena Vista City Public SchoolsLexington City Schools, and Rockbridge County Schools
Grant Number: NA15NMF4570209
Project Name: Project NEST (Nurturing Environmental Stewardship Together) Plus
Overview: With support from a previous B-WET award, NEST is now a well-functioning program annually implementing meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) for 1,500 second- through eighth-grade students across three divisions: (Buena Vista City Public Schools, Lexington City Schools, Rockbridge County Schools). NEST Plus addresses the emerging needs of more than 30 previously trained NEST teachers by providing maintenance-level professional support as they continue to implement student MWEEs across the K-8 continuum. To strengthen this critical leverage point, NEST Plus will create mechanisms for building leadership within this group, while also providing ongoing workshops, one-on-one coaching, and stipends. The project also serves a new audience—secondary students—by implementing NEST programs for the first time at the high school level, thus completing the NEST–12 continuum. Buena Vista City Schools is ready to implement these MWEE modules systemically across all Earth science, geology, and STEM high school classes; teachers are in place, eager to pilot them.
Duration: July 2015-May 2019
B-WET Funding: $171,404
Nonfederal Match: $57,141

Organization: Hampton City Schools
Grant Number: NA15NMF4570213
Project Title: Hampton Systemic Environmental Literacy Program (H.E.L.P.)
Overview: Hampton City Schools will partner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to create a systemic environmental education program that will reach all students (elementary, middle, and high school) in targeted grade levels and courses and embed quality environmental education into the science curriculum. The Hampton City Schools and Chesapeake Bay Foundation partnership will build teacher capacity to develop and implement meaningful watershed education experiences (MWEEs) into science classes. The project will use resources from NOAA, NGS, and other environmental education partners. Over the three-year grant period, the project will:
> Provide professional development for 30-36 elementary and 30-36 secondary teachers,
> Develop curriculum that integrates field investigations and MWEE opportunities into the HCS science curriculum,
> Engage approximately 10 principals and administrators in environmental leadership,
> Provide job-embedded professional development to enable teachers to successfully implement MWEEs and research/service projects,
> Engage elementary, middle, and high school students (approximately 8,000) in model MWEEs and research/service projects, and
> Use appropriate technology to collect, analyze, and report data and document the program experiences.
Duration: July 2015-August 2019
B-WET Funding: $360,000
Nonfederal Match: $105.608

Organization: Elizabeth River Project
Grant Number: NA15NMF4570208
Project Title: The Learning Barge Collaborates with B-WET Veterans
Overview: To address the special challenges of an unstable school system with high teacher turnover and dropping scores, Elizabeth River Project and Norfolk Public Schools will cross-train with two veteran B-WET recipients who have overcome similar challenges, the Delaware Nature Society and Living Classrooms Foundation. The three nonprofits will mentor each other and Norfolk’s administrators and teachers to identify best practices for challenged schools in impoverished areas. In spring 2016, Elizabeth River Project will pilot best practices identified by the mentoring teams with 10 of Norfolk’s 33 elementary schools. These 10 schools (about 850 students) will visit the Learning Barge in spring 2015 and we will work with the mentoring teams to determine which approaches were most successful. In year 2, collaboration and mentoring will continue as originally proposed but no student field trips are budgeted. Instead, the collaboration team will develop and submit a draft best practices plan for challenged urban schools and a plan for how these practices will be implemented in Norfolk schools and on the Learning Barge. Year 3 will include implementation with all Norfolk fourth grades. Elizabeth River Project will implement lessons learned from the collaborations to incorporate inquiry-based Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay geographic literacy into the Norfolk Public Schools’ required curriculum for fourth grades for the first time. All Norfolk fourth-graders will come aboard the Learning Barge. The three B-WET recipients will form the first B-WET workgroup to share best practices for challenged areas.
Duration: July 2015-June 2019
B-WET Funding: $175,000
Nonfederal Match: $43,750

Organization: Arlington Public Schools
Grant Number: NA16NMF4570298
Project Title: Sustainable Solutions for Urban Stormwater Management through Project-Based Learning Project
Overview: Arlington Public Schools will implement Sustainable Solutions for Urban Stormwater Management through Project-Based Learning, a systemic meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) implementation that will take place over 36 months. Arlington Public Schools is a diverse and inclusive urban school division located just outside of Washington, D.C. Serving a high population of underrepresented minorities, immigrants, and economically disadvantaged students, this project will provide MWEEs to high school students who have limited access to outdoor learning opportunities. This project includes systemic MWEE implementation across the school system and uses NOAA's resources for geographic literacy and the GLOBE program. The goal of this project is to provide all high school biology students with a comprehensive understanding of how stormwater runoff affects the local watersheds and to assist students in developing solutions through project-based learning.
Duration: July 2016-June 2019
B-WET Funding: $375,000
Nonfederal Match: $459,000

Organization: James River Association
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570164
School District Partners: Richmond Public Schools
Project Title: Students Investigating Urban Parks: Providing MWEEs to Richmond Public Schools
Overview: The James River Association will immerse the students and educators from Richmond Public Schools in field-based experiences that will use real-world data, mapping, and hands-on experiences to challenge students to critically examine the complex ecological, economic, and human systems that depend on and collectively impact the health of the James River and Chesapeake Bay. The overarching question the students will investigate throughout the MWEE will be “What role do urban areas play in the health of the James River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds?” The culmination of the participants’ experiences will be stewardship action projects focused on habitat restoration, everyday choices, community engagement, and civic actions, with emphasis on restoration and public engagement.
Duration: July 2017-June 2020
B-WET Funding: $449,849
Nonfederal Match: $53,220

Organization: Virginia Department of Education
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570277
Project Title: Virginia Environmental Literacy Cohort: Developing, Implementing, and Assessing Environmental Literacy Plans in the Commonwealth
Overview: The Virginia Department of Education will partner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Forestry to plan and implement professional development opportunities to cohorts of teachers and administrators across the Commonwealth in order to build capacity for environmental literacy. The professional development will focus on developing teacher and administrator skills and knowledge of their local watershed, which will allow for the integration of student meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEE) and other field-based lessons and investigations into K-12 instruction as well as provide a springboard for the development of school and school division environmental literacy plans
Duration: August 2017-November 2019
B-WET Funding: $130,131
Nonfederal Match: $52,760

Organization: Friends of the Rappahannock
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570311
School District Partners: Spotsylvania County Public Schools and Caroline County Public Schools
Project Title: Rappahannock MWEE Expansion Program: Creating a Model for a Sustainable MWEE.
Overview: In partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Lake Anna State Park, Friends of the Rappahannock will serve all fourth, sixth, and ninth graders in Spotsylvania County Public Schools and all the ninth-grade students in Caroline County Public Schools. The main goals of the project are to create a model for embedding MWWEs into the Rappahannock River schoolshed districts’ curriculum and to create sustainability teams to mentor and support collaboration between new and existing teachers. The driving question for the MWEE is “How do our daily actions impact our local watershed?” Both school districts involved in this project are in the middle region of the Rappahannock River watershed, which comprises a mix of rural and suburban areas with pockets of agriculture. All participants will gain understandings of local stream and river systems, human stressors on those systems, and current mitigation practices. Teachers and students will participate in a variety of conservation and stewardship activities focused on protecting local water resources.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
B-WET Funding: $108,391
Nonfederal Match: $22,920

Organization: Maymont Foundation
School District Partner: Henrico County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570275
Project Title: Bay Watershed in Science Education (BWISE).
Overview: The goal of BWISE is to build Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) teacher capacity to facilitate immersive and authentic watershed experiences and fully implement complete MWEEs as required by the sixth-grade science curriculum, reaching all sixth-grade science teachers and students. Maymont and other project partners will provide HCPS teacher professional development through a two-day training modeling essential MWEE elements and a supplemental online learning course. They will support teachers in the classroom and the school grounds with hands-on activities and resources as they engage in watershed issue identification. MWEE field-based activities will be facilitated at Maymont for HCPS teachers and students. Teachers and students will be supported in planning student action projects that demonstrate knowledge of the watershed and conservation efforts. They will also be connected with resource organizations for sustainability of the project after the funding period ends.
Duration: August 2018-July 2021
NOAA Funding: $149,568
Nonfederal Match: $37,000

Organization: The Nature Conservancy
School District Partners: Accomack County and Northampton County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570274
Project Title: Student and Teacher Experiential Environmental Learning (STEEL): Implementation of Systemic Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Overview: This project will target approximately 135 teachers and 2,250 students in fifth, seventh, and tenth grades in Accomack and Northampton County public schools. The fifth grade focuses on “How do people affect the environmental health of the terrestrial ecosystems on the Eastern Shore of Virginia?” Seventh graders investigate “How do people affect the environmental health of the aquatic ecosystems on the Eastern Shore of Virginia?” Tenth graders explore “How do people affect the environmental health of global ecosystems, and what are the local impacts here on the Eastern Shore?” Teachers will be provided with field-based and hands-on professional development workshops throughout the school year to help them implement all aspects of the MWEE, which includes issue definition, background research, outdoor field experiences, synthesis and conclusion, and student stewardship action projects. Professional development includes topics of outdoor education pedagogy and local contexts for learning to ensure that they are providing high-quality environmental education. Students will participate in multiple field experiences, one of which will take place on Conservancy-owned property. A MWEE project will provide students with interdisciplinary instruction about the key relationships between dynamic environmental processes, energy, and human systems, including STEM content knowledge and problem-solving skills.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
NOAA Funding: $100,000
Nonfederal Match: $56,408

Organization: University of Virginia, Blandy Experimental Farm
School District Partner: Clarke County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570315
Project Title: Developing MWEE Capacity through Systemic, Vertically Aligned, Integrated Curricula, Grades K-12
Overview: This project will implement comprehensive, systemic MWEE curricula that spans grades K-12. Students will engage in activities designed to develop environmental literacy (ELIT) knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA). These ELIT KSA’s will scaffold in complexity as students move through the grade levels. Students will learn about environmental and watershed systems in an interdisciplinary format using knowledge and skills from the four main content areas to investigate, assess, and synthesize environmental and watershed system components, processes, and human impacts. Six grades will be targeted for full MWEE, two each in elementary, middle, and high school. Teachers will receive 46 to 66 hours of professional development annually and will work in professional learning communities to collaborate on disciplinary integration, discuss effective teaching practices, and design MWEE activities using the Environmental Literacy Model. Because CCPS is a relatively small school division, it is possible to design and model a systemic ELIT/MWEE plan that impacts all grade levels. This comprehensive ELIT/MWEE design will serve as a model for other school divisions tasked with designing and implementing ELIT/MWEE plans.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
NOAA Funding: $103,686
Nonfederal Match: $22,027

Organization: Earth Force
School District Partner: Alexandria City Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570273
Project Title: Alexandria Youth Action for the Bay (AYAB)
Overview: Working with a partnership of organizations, Earth Force will support Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) as they implement MWEEs into every middle-school science classroom across ACPS, train and support educators as they develop the skills to effectively teach MWEEs, and develop connections to expert support for educators to implement an investigative student-led project focused on watershed issues related to the Chesapeake Bay. Understanding the importance of school and district administrators and all organizations within the school district in supporting student projects, this team will also provide training and counsel to those parts of the ACPS organization. This program, collaboratively designed by Earth Force, ACPS departments, Smart Outside, LLC, and an ACPS middle-school educator, will provide ACPS with a MWEE that is embedded in the curriculum, rooted in local context, supported by local partners and all parts of the school district, and sustained beyond the term of the grant. The entire school district is in the Potomac River watershed with significant river frontage.
Duration: July 2018-June 2021
NOAA Funding: $109,535
Nonfederal Match: $43,372

Organization: Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
School District Partners: Culpeper County, Greene County, Madison County, Orange County, and Rappahannock County Public Schools
Grant Number: NA18NMF4570272
Project Title: Environmental Literacy in the Piedmont
Overview: The Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation Districe will develop and deliver weeklong meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) to all sixth-grade students in five counties and deliver 45 hours of professional development to each participating teacher. MWEEs will include three days of classroom training involving the identification of a driving question and of data needs, one-day onsite outdoor assessment, one-day experiential field component to collect data, and a one-day reflection component. Throughout the MWEEs, students abd teachers will be trained and continually reminded of the scientific investigative process. Previously identified barriers to delivering systemic MWEEs will be addressed through teacher experiential learning, outdoor assessment identifying resources available at the schools, and curriculum integration through lesson plan development utilizing the outdoor assessment. Sustained efforts at each school beyond the grant are emphasized through a partnership with the University of Mary Washington Education Department.
Duration: June 2018-July 2021
NOAA Funding: $38,730

West Virginia

Organization: Cacapon Institute
Grant Number: NA16NMF4570294
Project Title: Emerging Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for West Virginia Regional Education Service Area Eight to Provide Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training to Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Students
Overview: NOAA B-WET funding will focus on improving the formal education components of Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watersheds (PHLOW) and assist Cacapon Institute in realizing their goal of moving toward a systemic meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) in West Virginia. Cacapon Institute believes there is a need to pursue MWEEs in West Virginia’s Potomac Basin, the West Virginia area within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This project will expand outreach and develop classroom-based and extracurricular activities to promote project-based and STEM learning opportunities for MWEE. Just as important as the funding, a NOAA B-WET award will recognize the importance of pursuing MWEE in West Virginia and promote possible future state participation in the Environmental Literacy Management Strategy. NOAA B-WET’s rigorous evaluation will also bring much-needed critical review of PHLOW.
Duration: July 2016-June 2019
B-WET Funding: $120,213
Nonfederal Match: $45,300


Organization: Earth Force
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570276
Project Title: Alliance to Advance Student Action Projects
Overview: Earth Force will develop materials that provide to school divisions and interested organizations best practices and the planning tools needed to implement youth action projects. It will also assist school divisions and environmental education organizations to develop the capacity to incorporate student action projects into their MWEE programming. The project addresses the priority of state/multistate K-12 environmental literacy initiatives. Earth Force will deliver the project by conducting a deep exploration and analysis of into the problems and barriers, and convening planning meetings, learning sessions, conference calls, and professional development workshops.
Duration: July 2017-July 2020
B-WET Funding: $199,097
Nonfederal Match: $28,975

Organization: Chesapeake Bay Trust
Grant Number: NA17NMF4570275
Project Title: Environmental Education Capacity Building in the Chesapeake Region: A Mini-Grants Program and Special Initiative Effort in Partnership with NOAA
Overview: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s project involves the administration of an existing grant program called the “Mini Pre-K-12 Environmental Education Grant Program (Mini Grant Program).” This partnership between NOAA and the Trust provides small environmental education grants of up to $5,000. These mini-grant projects take place in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Mini-grant projects typically includes field excursions to water-based educational activities and small-scale hands-on restoration projects such as schoolyard habitat improvements. In addition, funds will be used to address known challenges to MWEE framework adoption through a variety of methods including conferences, workshops, and the development of products and resources.
Duration: October 2017-September 2020
B-WET Funding: $502,715
Nonfederal Match: $200,000

Awards from Previous Years