Christine Conn, Ph.D., CC-P®
Director, Office of Science and Stewardship
Chesapeake and Coastal Service
Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Maryland’s Aquatic Resources Education (ARE) Grants Program provides small grants to fund aquatic-based learning activities for schools -- in classrooms, on school grounds, or for off-campus field experiences for students. Funding is offered to assist public and private schools (preK-12) and environmental education centers that are part of the public school system.
ARE grants normally focus on providing funds to allow schools to implement their programs and projects with students, engaging them in hands-on, experiential learning outdoors as well as in the classroom. During the 2020-21 school year, with most schools utilizing distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is offering support through a new lens. Applications will be considered that request support for accommodations for alternative arrangements and platforms for engaging students, such as blended learning comprising a combination of virtual and in-person (at home) learning, including asynchronous student investigations at home or in their community. Support is also offered for professional learning opportunities that enable teachers to transition their aquatic education activities to alternative platforms and settings. We invite you to contact us before applying to discuss any ideas that reimagine outdoor learning during this time.
ARE Grants have a rolling deadline annually beginning July 15 and extending throughout the school year, until all available funding has been awarded. This year, 2021, and for this year only, we will not be accepting any new grants between March 1 and July 15. Please come back to this webpage after July 15 when we will be opening up the grant process again for the 2021/22 school year.
Student-centered learning, investigation, and stewardship activities about all aquatic resources topics ▪ Aquatic habitat creation/improvement ▪ Water quality improvement ▪ Storm water run-off remediation ▪ Non-point source water pollution improvement ▪ Raising aquatic organisms in the classroom ▪ Innovative, alternate means to engage students in these activities during distance learning ▪ Aquatic-related teacher professional development (trainings, workshops, conferences) to learn how to implement aquatic resources education programs and stewardship projects with students, both in person and using technology and other distance learning practices.
Think about how your project can help you meet Environmental Literacy standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Use grant funds to accomplish a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE; see also MWEE videos 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
Most grants are awarded as reimbursable funds, depending on award amount. The applicant may request up to 75% of the award up front and must spend the remaining amount out of their own budget and be subsequently reimbursed by DNR. Instructions for invoicing and reporting will be sent with award notification.
The Aquatic Resources Education Grant Program encourages matching funds, partnerships, technical support from local resources, and volunteer time.
Food, computer or video equipment, software, prizes, t-shirts or other promotional items, signage for plantings, travel to attend trainings, or reimbursement for any costs incurred prior to the start date of award, such as completed projects, equipment, program admission fees or field experiences that have already taken place.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401