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U.S. EPA announces $3 million available for locally focused environmental education grants

FY17 grants awarded to California and Hawaii groups

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of up to $3 million in grant funding for locally focused environmental education projects under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program. EPA will award up to 35 grants nationwide, each between $50,000 and $100,000.

The 2018 EE Local Grant Program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation of natural resources, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness. Funded projects will increase public awareness of those topics and help participants make informed decisions. 

"By recognizing these locally-based learning and awareness opportunities, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking both a local and national leadership role in promoting sound agricultural conservation practices, environmental disaster preparedness, adequate food waste management and other important environmental best practices," said Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Environmental education starts locally in our own backyards, classrooms and in the fields of farmers who work the land directly, and I'm proud to play a role in enhancing such learning opportunities."

Through this grant program, EPA will provide financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques that will increase environmental and conservation literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment in the local communities in which projects are located.

Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 and $3.5 million in grant funding per year under this program, supporting more than 3700 grants.

In 2017, EPA’s environmental education grant awards included the following projects:

Sierra Streams Institute (Nevada City, Calif.) - $91,000
Sierra Streams Institute is developing an environmental education center at the Woolman Property near Nevada City. The center will serve as a county-wide and regional environmental education resource for students and provide educational training for teachers. Sierra Streams Institute is adapting existing environmental education curriculum to reflect local environmental and historical concerns.
The Energy Coalition (Richmond, Calif.) - $91,000
The Energy Coalition is developing a program that exposes elementary and high school students in Contra Costa County to green careers through project-based learning and mentoring with STEM professionals in both the public and private sectors. About 75 teachers from 15 West Contra Costa Unified School District and Pittsburg Unified School District will take part in the project and reach 3,000 students.
The Kohala Center (Waimea, Hawaii) - $90,000
The Kohala Center’s “Farm to Forest” project is using school gardens at middle schools to promote environmental literacy on the Big Island in Hawaii. The project is promoting environmental stewardship and encouraging citizen engagement on the Big Island with an educational model that can be replicated statewide. Over two years, garden programs at four middle schools—involving 16 teachers and 400 students—will include field trips, hands-on science labs, and environmental monitoring.

Proposals for 2018 grants are due by March 15, 2018. The full solicitation notices will be posted later this week at and at /education/environmental-education-ee-grant-solicitation-notice.

Find background on the EE Grants Program and resources for applicants at /education/environmental-education-ee-grants.