B-WET Grants Recipients Announced for 2016

Students and teachers across the Chesapeake Bay watershed will benefit from meaningful watershed educational experiences, thanks to nearly $2.4 million in environmental education grants being funded by the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office through the competitive B-WET (Bay-Watershed Education and Training) Chesapeake program this year.

B-WET is an environmental education program that supports locally relevant outdoors, experience-based learning for students in grades K-12 and their teachers. It is a competitive funding program that promotes meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) to help students understand, protect, and restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Funded projects support rigorous academic learning that helps connect students with their watershed and reinforces responsible citizenship and academic achievement.

“Arlington Public Schools is extremely excited about receiving the NOAA B-WET grant to support meaningful watershed educational experiences for our students,” said Dr. Dat Le, science supervisor for Arlington Public Schools. “The grant funding will provide our students with relevant, hands-on, outdoor and project-based learning experiences. They will develop solutions to reducing stormwater runoff on several campuses in the Arlington Public Schools system. Through this project, our students will have a greater appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and become better stewards of the environment.”

“For the first time, every sixth-grade child in the city of Baltimore will have the opportunity to engage in a meaningful watershed experience,” said Kris Hoellen, chief conservation officer of the National Aquarium. “Thanks to the collaboration and partnership with NOAA and the B-WET grant, these students will see first-hand floating wetlands and the types of species they attract in the various seasons, learn about the water quality and tidal effects in the Inner Harbor, and most importantly have the opportunity to connect to nature.”

“As we celebrate National Estuaries Week, it is important to look to the future of our nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay,” said Louisa Koch, director of education at NOAA. “By engaging in robust learning about and in the environment, like those funded by these B-WET grants, today’s students will become tomorrow’s informed stewards of our bays, estuaries, and oceans.”

“B-WET projects give students a meaningful understanding of how their actions contribute to a healthier Chesapeake Bay ecosystem,” said Peyton Robertson, director of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. “By supporting classroom and field-based learning, as well as teacher professional development, this funding will advance the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goal for environmental literacy.”

New projects, totaling more than $470,000, funded from the FY16 budget are:

  • $73,281 to Anne Arundel County Public Schools Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office (Annapolis, Md.) to support the systemic development of MWEEs for all eighth-grade students in the district, via curriculum development, professional development for eighth-grade teachers, mentor and outreach to the classroom, support to teachers and students for action projects, and MWEE development.
  • $125,000 to Arlington Public Schools (Arlington, Va.) to provide MWEEs to high school students who have limited access to outdoor learning opportunities through developing understanding of how stormwater runoff affects local watersheds and assisting students in developing solutions through project-based learning.
  • $70,000 to Audubon Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Pa.) for a systemic environmental education program that will engage elementary students from York, Carlisle, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in their local and regional watersheds during multiple in-class programs and field experiences.
  • $40,000 to Cacapon Institute in partnership with the Regional Education Service Area Eight, The Mountain Institute, and West Virginia Department of Department of Environmental Protection (Great Cacapon, W.Va.), to support classroom outreach and education as well as school-based field experiences investigating stormwater runoff and taking corrective action to mitigate non-point source pollution as well as teacher workshops.
  • $71,762 to Hood College Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (Frederick, Md.) to partner with Frederick County Public Schools to use schoolyards as sites to monitor and assess the effects of thermal pollution on local stream health.
  • $65,000 to National Aquarium (Baltimore, Md.) to support engaging middle-school students in conservation through field experiences at the Aquarium’s Model Urban Waterfront and professional development for teachers.
  • $25,000 to Spotsylvania County Public Schools (Fredericksburg, Va.) for professional learning for teachers and administrators, enhancement of the fourth-grade field experience, school-based action projects, and increasing high school student exposure to hands-on MWEEs.

In addition to these new awards, other organizations are receiving funds to continue projects that began in 2014 and 2015:


  • Boxerwood Education Association ($39,328)
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation ($91,128)
  • Fairfax County Public Schools ($97,694)
  • Friends of the Rappahannock ($81,347)
  • James River Association ($64,931)
  • Hampton City Schools ($120,000)
  • Mary Baldwin College ($66,682)
  • Old Dominion University ($100,000)
  • University of Virginia ($98,299)
  • York County Public Schools ($75,000)


  • Annapolis Maritime Museum ($50,270)
  • Cecil County Public Schools ($63,539)
  • Howard County Conservancy ($101,750)
  • Maryland Sea Grant ($64,768)
  • Pickering Creek Audubon Center ($59,784)
  • Sultana Education Foundation ($91,318)
  • University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science ($137,532 for two projects)
  • Washington College ($113,268)


  • Gettysburg College ($148,750)

Washington, D.C.

  • Alice Ferguson Foundation ($96,492; Maryland-based organization, implementing project in D.C.)


  • Delaware Department of Parks and Recreation ($50,000)

New York

  • Monroe Community College ($75,000)

For more information on these grants and projects, read about funded B-WET awards.