Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


Grantee Resources

FY19 Great Lakes B-WET Competition Anticipated Announcement April 2018 for projects to begin January 2019

NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training Program

The NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program offers competitive grants to support existing environmental education programs, foster the growth of new programs, and encourage development of partnerships among environmental education programs within watershed systems. The criteria for these awards emphasize Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs): sustained, hands-on, environmental activities that are aligned with academic learning standards.

These experiential opportunities are intended to supplement and enrich the traditional formal learning environment, and target both teachers and students in K-12. Rigorous evaluation has shown that B-WET activities increase teachers' confidence, ability, and intention to employ MWEE techniques with their students. Student experiences in turn have been shown to increase intention to take action to improve the watershed, and have the potential to increase academic achievement in science.

Click there for a presentation on one of our competitions

bwet studentsbwet students

bwet studentsbwet students

B-WET students from Northeast Michigan explore the Lake Huron watershed.

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs)

NOAA B-WET is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning for K-12 school students. B-WET administers a competitive funding process that promotes Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences that

  • are investigative or project oriented
  • are an integral part of the instructional program
  • are part of a sustained activity
  • considers the watershed as a system
  • are enhanced by NOAA products, services, or personnel, where appropriate

rivers2lake projectrivers2lake project

rivers2lake projectrivers2lake project

Hands on training for teachers about the Lake Superior watershed.

Great Lakes B-WET Program – FY13 Grantees

The Bay Watershed and Education Program (B-WET) is an environmental education program
that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning for K-12 school students and teachers. Through NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Great Lakes B-WET program offers competitive grants to support existing environmental education programs that focus on the K-12 audience, fosters the growth of new watershed education programs, and encourages the development of partnerships among environmental education programs across the Great Lakes watershed. Projects funded through B-WET are aimed at promoting “Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences.”

The initial call for proposals was published late summer 2012 with funding provided through EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and administered through NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.  The environmental education community in the region responded enthusiastically, with 25 proposals going through the review process.   Of these, 6 proposals were awarded funding, embarking on one-year projects beginning summer 2013. Total funding amounted to $328,000 in awards between $25,000 and $70,000. Three of the projects are returning grantees who will continue to grow their successful B-WET programs.

By centering on Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences, all Great Lakes B-WET projects have sustained, hands-on environmental activities that are aligned with state-wide academic learning standards. Both students and teachers incorporate watershed stewardship practice in the classroom, out in the field, and in other arenas of education. To achieve the goal of leaving the Great Lakes better for the next generation, B-WET projects also align with the goals, strategies and principles of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan and the Great Lakes Literacy Principles.

For more information, contact: Cathy Green, B-WET Great Lakes Program Manager ( (989) 766-3458


Great Lakes B-WET FY13 Awardees


Project Location



The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve at UW-Superior
(UW-Superior )

Lake Superior
(St. Louis River)



Groundswell FORCES
(Grand Valley State University )

Lake Michigan
(Grand River, Kent Co)



Our Rivers, Our Future
(Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan)

Lake Huron
(6 counties in N. Lake Huron Watershed)



Watershed Alive: A Place to Call Our Own
(Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District)

Lake Michigan



Great Lakes Explorers Program
(United Way of Buffalo and Erie County)

Lake Erie



Great Science Academy
(Great Lakes Museum of Science Environment and Technology)

Lake Erie



See the FY13 B-WET Great Lakes Federal Funding Opportunity here

See the FY-12 B-WET awardees here


FY16 Great Lakes B-WET Competition 
Our annual grant competition usually is announced late summer or early fall for one year awards beginning the following summer. As of October 2014, we have not been able to secure funding for an FY15 competition, and thus, we will not be holding a competition this coming year. We anticipate this as an one-year hiatus, and fully intend to offer a FY16 grant opportunity, with a Federal Funding Opportunity announcement summer or fall 2015 for projects beginning fall 2016. Meanwhile, NOAA is continuing its strong support of the Great Lakes B-WET program, ongoing grants, and Great Lakes place-based education. Please keep checking our website for the latest updates on grant opportunities.

For additional information on the current B-WET grant opportunity, please contact:

Contact Information:

Ellen Brody

B-WET Program Manager
Great Lakes
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Phone: 734-741-2270

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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Bwet map