NOAA has awarded roughly $367,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 funding to 6 new projects as part of the New England Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program. The new projects are based in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
B-WET began in the Chesapeake Bay region in 2002, and since has expanded to 8 regions. The New England B-WET program launched in 2008 and since its implementation, has funded 54 projects totaling approximately $9 million in grants awarded.
- Maine Audubon will engage all 5th grade teachers and students from the Bangor public schools in exploring and protecting the environmental and cultural landscapes of the Penobscot River watershed.
- Sunrise County Economic Council, through multiple partnerships, will engage teachers, school administrators and approximately 150 students (between grades 5-8) across 5 downeast Maine public schools, in exploring dimensions surrounding fish passage and habitat connectivity.
- University of New Hampshire‘s project will expand on a previous B-WET award to increase Seabrook Middle School’s capacity for sustaining local outdoor salt marsh educational experiences for approximately 150 students, helping to build knowledge and skills for addressing climate change impacts and identifying solutions toward marsh resilience.
- Buzzards Bay Coalition will provide approximately 620 Wareham (MA) Public School students an opportunity to effect positive change in their community by providing a district-wide program where students will learn about how shellfish provide a natural solution to climate-change and nitrogen pollution in their watershed through teacher-implemented outdoor educational experiences.
- Hitchcock Center for the Environment will engage teachers, administrators, and approximately 200 students from the Connecticut River Valley (5 school districts) in professional development training and direct community-based action, civic engagement learning, and community resilience engineering design challenges.
- The Bridgeport City School District will provide inquiry-based professional development training for Claytor Magnet Academy teachers to engage 125 students (grades 5 through 8) in field experiences that promote informed decision-making and develop an awareness of stewardship acts that will positively impact the local Rooster River watershed.
Students and teachers throughout New England will benefit from these outstanding programs. This year’s new grants support projects that will provide high quality teacher professional development and student Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs combine outdoor and classroom learning to help students investigate local environmental issues. They lead to students taking informed action and increase school capacity to deliver environmental education that support academic standards across multiple disciplines.
In addition to the new projects, New England B-WET will also fund 6 continuing projects. These projects all support elements in NOAA’s Strategic Plan, including increasing environmental literacy and encouraging individual planet stewardship actions.
For more information about the New England B-WET program visit our website.