The National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office (Southeast Regional Office) is seeking proposals under the Gulf of Mexico Bay Watershed Education and Training (Gulf of Mexico B-WET) Program:
goal of Gulf of Mexico B-WET is to increase understanding and stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico watershed and its local population, geography, culture, and natural, financial, and human resources.
To accomplish this, Gulf of Mexico B-WET funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in Gulf of Mexico coastal communities.
MWEEs are learner-centered experiences that focus on investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed stewardship actions.
They are composed of multiple elements that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom, and are designed to increase the environmental literacy of all student participants.
All students, regardless of where they live or their social or economic status, should have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from MWEEs.
This year, the Gulf of Mexico B-WET Notice of Funding Opportunity is modified to reflect the significant impact COVID-19 has had on the ability of environmental education providers to engage with schools and therefore meaningfully reach students and teachers.
The resulting loss of programs will have lasting repercussions on the targeted audiences of these programs and to the institutions who provide these services.
The NOAA B-WET Program recognizes that support is needed to bridge this gap that has been created by the loss of revenue, the cancellation of programs, and the inequities that are being exacerbated by the pandemic.
As a major contributor to environmental education programs, the NOAA B-WET Program is committed to responding to the immediate needs of this pandemic and supporting these critical institutions that provide meaningful experiences for youth at all levels.
Given this, the FY21 Gulf of Mexico B-WET funding announcement focuses on the following priority areas:
1) Professional Development for Teachers related to Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences, 2) Exemplary Programs combining Teacher Professional Development with Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for their students, and 3) Systemic Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience Implementation, and 4) Meaningful Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
For Gulf of Mexico B-WET, Applicants may be physically located in any U. S. state; however, education projects must target teachers and/or students in Gulf of Mexico coastal counties.
For the purposes of this solicitation, the coastal counties of Gulf of Mexico states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) are defined and listed on page 48-49 of the following document:
National Ocean Service, NOAA.
201 1. The Gulf of Mexico at a Glance:
A Second Glance.
U. S. Department of Commerce, ftp://ftp.library.noaa.gov/noaa_documents.lib/NOS/state_of_coast/Gulf_of_Mexico_201 1. pdf.