Environmental Education Grants

To support projects to design, demonstrate, or disseminate practices, methods, or techniques related to environmental education and teacher training.

As required by Public Law 101-619, this grant program provides financial support for environmental education projects implemented by schools, universities,

credit: Ecotourism CA
state and local government environmental and educational agencies, tribal education agencies, and nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organizations.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: All grant projects must address one of the following educational priorities: (1) Capacity Building: Increasing capacity to develop and deliver coordinated environmental education programs across a state or across multiple states.

Steps include developing effective leaders and organizations which create strategic plans to implement and link environmental education programs to promote long term programs and to decrease fragmentation of effort and duplication across programs; (2) Education Reform: Utilizing environmental education as a catalyst to advance state or local education reform goals; (3) Community Stewardship: Designing and implementing model projects to educate the public about environmental issues issues in their communities through state and local government and community based organizations or through print, film, broadcast, or other media; (4) Health: Educating teachers, students, community leaders, or the public about human-health threats from environmental pollution, especially as it affects children, and how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health; (5) Teaching Skills: Providing professional development for teachers, faculty, or non-formal educators about environmental issues and content, such as sustainabiltiy, to improve environmental education skills; or (6) Career Development: Educating students in formal or non-formal settings about environmental issues to encourage environmental careers.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: It is anticipated that the 2009 funding priorities will be very similar, if not the same as the previous priorities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Workshops to train high school teachers about the integration of environmental issues, such as water conservation and habitat preservation, into their lesson plans; development of a cross-disciplinary graduate school course of study for pre-service teachers; development of field trips supported by an Internet-based science curriculum for students in grades 6 through 12 that raises awareness of environmental and health hazards posed by fine particle pollution; building state capacity for environmental education; and establishment of a four State committee to organize and implement a regional environmental education strategic plan that supports State education reform goals.

Also see the Office of Environmental Education website at: www.epa.gov/enviroed for a complete list with descriptions by State.

Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - Contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog and on the website www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Each year, Headquarters awards approximately 10 grants and the ten EPA Regional Offices award 10 to 15 each for a total of about 135 grants nationwide. In a typical annual grant cycle, these Environmental Education Grants educate approximately 6,000 teachers, 20,000 students, and 12,000 members of the general public. In Fiscal Year 2006, EPA Headquarters awarded 10 grants from a pool of 105 grant applications; and the ten EPA Regional Offices awarded almost 135 grants from a pool of over 850 grant applications. In 2007 less funding was available and less than half that number of grants were awarded. In 2008, the issuance of grants repeated the typical grant pattern as stated above for 2006. For the 2009 grant cycle, assuming Congress makes an appropriation for this program, it is anticipated that the ratio of applications to awards will follow past patterns and approximately 10 percent of the headquarters applications and 30 percent of the regional office proposals will be funded. This grant program is expected to reach a target audience of about 6,000 teachers, 20,000 students and 12,000 members of the public in the next fiscal year.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds shall be used to establish an education program which shall include, at a minimum: (1) design, demonstration, or dissemination of environmental curricula and materials on specific topics for which there are no existing materials; (2) design and demonstration of field methods, practices, and techniques, including review of environmental and ecological conditions and analysis of environmental and pollution problems; (3) projects to understand and evaluate a specific environmental issue or a specific environmental problem; (4) provision of training or related education for teachers, faculty, or related personnel in a specific geographic area or region; and (5) design and demonstration of projects to foster international cooperation in addressing environmental issues and problems involving the United States and Canada or Mexico.

Priority will be given to those projects which will develop: (a) a new or significantly improved environmental education practice, method, or technique; (b) an environmental education method which may have wide application; (c) an environmental education method which addresses skills or scientific fields identified as a priority in the report developed by the National Environmental Education Advisory Council; and (d) an environmental education project which addresses an environmental issue which, in the judgment of the Administrator, is of a high priority.

More specific priorities are listed above under Objectives and are specified in the annual Solicitation Notice.

Restrictions: No funds made available for this program shall be used for technical training of environmental management professionals; for advocacy or lobbying; for acquisition of real property (including buildings); or the construction or substantial modification of any building.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: http://geodata.epa.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Assistance under this program is generally available to local education agencies, colleges and universities, state education and environmental agencies, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entities as defined and licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Applicant organizations must be located in the United States or territories and the majority of the educational activities must take place in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Education (0-8), education (9-12), education (13+), nonprofit institutions.


Documentation of nonprofit status may be required. Applicants must demonstrate that they have appropriate background, academic training, and experience in the field, and may be asked to demonstrate the necessary equipment or facilities to carry out the project.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The annual solicitation notice for proposals and grant writing tips are available on the Agency's website listed below.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Application Procedures

Applicants are accepted on an annual grant cycle and are due at the deadline stated below. Applicants submit an application package in the format required in the annual Solicitation Notice. Applicants submit an application package to their respective EPA Regional Grants Management Offices for grants requesting $50,000 or less in Federal funds; and to the EPA Headquarters for larger grants. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA. However, where possible it is preferable to submit applications and attachments on paper via mail or delivery services.

Award Procedures

Applications for a Federal share of $50,000 or less are to be submitted to and evaluated by the respective EPA Regional Offices. Applications for a larger Federal dollar amount are to be submitted to and evaluated by the Office of Environmental Education, (1704A), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20460. For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements. The Agency will then advise the applicant if funding is being considered. A final work plan will then be negotiated with the applicant. All awards are competed through the annual announcement and no proposals are awarded non-competitively.


The grant application funding for the 2009 grant cycle is uncertain because Congress will determine if there will or will not be an appropriation for this grant program. If there is an appropriation for these grants, it is anticipated that the application deadline will be in December of 2008. Applications are evaluated and scored by internal EPA and external peer reviewers during the winter months and grants are awarded in the summer months.


National Environmental Education Act, Section 6; Public Law 101-619.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 180 days.


Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.


None. Grants proposals are evaluated annually on a competitive basis. Therefore, applicants should not plan for renewals.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

In accordance with the National Environmental Education Act (Public Law 101-619), federal funds for any project under this section shall not exceed 75 percent of the total cost of such project. The project has a 25 percent non-federal match required by statutory formula. For the purposes of this section, the non-federal share of project costs may be provided by cash or by in- kind contributions and other non-cash support.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The majority of the grants are completed in a one-year project period which is the preferred length of time. However, some flexibility up to two year project periods is possible depending upon the nature and complexity of the project. Activities must be completed within the time frame of the budget period. Concurrent grants to the same organization during the second year are not allowed. Grants may be incrementally or fully funded. This determination is made by the EPA.

Post Assistance Requirements


Recipients of grants are expected to submit progress reports on at least a semi-annual basis.

Final reports and two copies of all grants products are due within 90 days of the close of the budget period.


Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-federal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.


Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes to each assistance agreement, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA assistance accounts. All records must be maintained until the expiration of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as the result of an audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $1,340,000; FY 08 $3,400,000; and FY 09 est. $3,300,000 (subject to Congressional appropriation)

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range $7,000 to $125,000 per grant. Average financial assistance: Regional grants $12,000 to $15,000 per grant and Headquarters $90,000 per grant.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

40 CFR Parts 7, 12, 30, 31, 32 Subpart F, 33, 47; Public Law 101-619, and the Office of Environmental Education 2008 Grant Program Solicitation Notice to be issued in the fall of 2007.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog and on the website www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.

Headquarters Office

Diane Berger, Environmental Education Grant Program, (1704A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 564-0451. E-mail: berger.diane@epa.gov. Fax: (202) 564-2753.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Basis and priorities for selecting proposals are listed in Section 6 of Public Law 101-619, National Environmental Education Act, and in the annual Solicitation Notice which can be accessed at www.epa.gov/enviroed on the internet. The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement.

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