Environmental Education Grants

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

Purpose of this program:

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, state and local government environmental and educational agencies, tribal education agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Funding Priority: 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, local, or tribal education reform goals; (3) Community Issues: Designing and implementing model projects to educate the public about environmental issues and/or health issues in their communities through community-based organizations or through print, film, broadcast, or other media; (4) Health: Educating teachers, students, parents, 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: Educating teachers, faculty, or non-formal educators about environmental issues to improve their environmental education teaching skills, e.g., through workshops; (6) Career Development: Educating students in formal or non-formal settings about environmental issues to encourage environmental careers; or (7) Environmental Justice: Educating low-income or culturally-diverse audiences about environmental issues.

Possible 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, including development of educational tools 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; and (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; or for advocacy or lobbying; or for acquisition of real property (including buildings) or the construction or substantial modification of any building.

Who is eligible to apply...

Local or Tribal education agency, college or university, State education agency or environmental agency, not-for-profit organization in the IRS 501 (c)(3) category, or noncommercial educational broadcasting entity. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency?s competition policy.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

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.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Applicants are accepted on an annual grant cycle and are due in early winter 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 $25,000 or less; and to the EPA Headquarters for grants requesting greater than $25,000 in Federal funds.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Applications for a Federal share of $25,000 or less are to be submitted to and evaluated by the respective EPA Regional Offices. Applications for a Federal share of greater than $25,000 are to be submitted to and evaluated by the Office of Environmental Education (1704A), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. This is a competitive grant program and for all awards EPA will review applications, proposals, and submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria in the Solicitation Notice announcing the competitive funding opportunity. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


For fiscal year 2005 continued funding for environmental education is uncertain. An application deadline will be established only if it appears that funding will be forthcoming. If so, proposals are accepted in winter and grants are awarded in the summer months.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 180 days.

Preapplication Coordination

Standard application form SF 424 and 424A must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.



Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Grants proposals are evaluated annually on a competitive basis. Therefore, applicants should not plan for renewals.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

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

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Over 90% of these grants do not exceed $25,000 and almost none are for over $100,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


FY 03 $2,750,000; FY 04 est $2,750,000; and FY 05 est not available.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

See www.epa.gov/enviroed for a complete list with descriptions by State.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Each year, Headquarters awards about 12 grants, and the ten EPA Regional Offices award about 20 each for a total of approximately 200 grants. In the last annual grant cycle these Environmental Education Grants educated approximately 9,000 educators, 75,000 students, and over 100,000 members of the general public. In the next annual cycle we anticipate reaching at least as many teachers, students and members of the general public.

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.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The Environmental Education program grants awarded by EPA Regional Offices may be requested for a 12-month period and the Headquarters grants may be for two years. However, some flexibility is possible depending upon the nature 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.

Formula and Matching Requirements

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 noncash support.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

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.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


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 $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) 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 $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


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.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



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

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

40 CFR Parts 7, 12, 30, 31, 32, 32 Subpart F, 33, 47; Federal Register (Annual Solicitation Notice); and Public Law 101-619.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Diane Berger, Environmental Education Grant Program (1704A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 564-0451.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: