​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​The programs are aligned with Maryland’s Environmental Literacy and Common Core Standards.

Contact

​Cindy Etgen
Aquatic Resources Education Section Chief - Chesapeake and Coastal Service
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-260-8716
cindy.etgen@maryland.gov​​​​​​​

Aquatic Resources Education Grant Program

Maryland’s Aquatic Resources Education (ARE) Grants Program are small grants to assist public and private schools (preK-12) and environmental education centers that are part of the public school system with funding to implement aquatic-based projects in the schools/classrooms or on school grounds.

Aquatic Resources Education Grant Guidelines

What’s the limit?

  • Up to $2,000 per year for schools for student-driven projects tied to the curriculum that benefit Maryland’s aquatic resources.
  • Up to $4,000 for County Environmental Outdoor Education Centers that are part of the public school system.

Students standing in a stream with nets collecting samples. Grant requests must have a connection to water!

Aquatic habitat creation/improvement ▪ Water quality improvement ▪ Storm water run-off remediation ▪ Aquatic-related teacher trainings ▪ Non-point source water pollution improvement ▪ Raising aquatic organisms in the classroom.

Service learning and sustainable schools projects are strongly encouraged!

Think about how your project can help you meet Environmental Literacy requirements, College Career and Readiness standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Use grant funds to accomplish a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE), something that the Maryland State Department of Education is encouraging schools to undertake to build “learner-centered experiences that focus on investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed action and civic engagement.” (An Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, p. 4). 

What is covered?

Besides approved aquatic educational projects and needed items for that, we will cover some teacher training, substitute time for project execution, and transportation costs. For transportation costs, Aquatic Resources Education grants will fund 50% of the bus costs. For planting projects, all trees, shrubs, and plants must be native to Maryland and itemized on your grant budget

The Aquatic Resources Education Grant Program encourages matching funds, partnerships, technical support from local resources, and volunteer time.

What don’t we fund?

Food, computer or video equipment, software, prizes, t-shirts or other promotional items, reimbursement for completed projects, program admission fees, or field trips.

A group of kids and teacher standing in waders in front of a stone bridge at a stream. Examples of Projects

Trout in the Classroom ▪ Rain Gardens ▪ Stream Investigation and Stream Cleanups at State Parks, on Public Land, or on School Grounds ▪ Wetland Projects ▪ Storm Drain Stenciling. We encourage teachers to implement Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) or do MAEOE Green School projects, as well, and any of the above examples are a good start. For more ideas and resources, go to Bay Backpack.

Aquatic Resources Education Grant Process/Application and Instructions

We accept grants for the coming school year starting July 1.

Our deadlines are rolling, but please allow 4-5 weeks for approval.

If you have a project idea you are not sure about, email ahead with questions, before filling out the application! Email Cindy Etgen at cindy.etgen@maryland.gov or call 410-260-8716. 

Application, Procedures and Instructions

For assistance with School Yard Projects and Maryland Green School Sustainable Practices or your Maryland Green School application, contact:

Christine Hintz
Christine.hintz@maryland.gov
410-260-8809

Sport Fish Restoration