2019 New England Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Awardees Announced

May 30, 2019

NOAA Awards $529K to Six New-England B-WET projects.

The NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region has announced recommendations to fund the first year of six multi-year New England Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET) projects under the 2019-2020 New England B-WET grant competition. Projects fall under two priority categories: Backyard B-WET and Grass Roots.

  1. Western Connecticut State University - Finding Our Way: Building a College Ready STEM Pipeline for At-Risk High School Youth Through Watershed Stewardship

  2. University of New Hampshire - New Hampshire American Eel Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences Program

  3. SoundWaters, Inc. - One Million Bottle Caps! Meaningful Environmental Education and Stewardship for Middle School Students and Teachers

  4. Save The Bay, Inc. - Salt Marsh Nursery Program: How Do You Enhance Coastal Resiliency in Narragansett Bay

  5. Interdistrict Committee for Project Oceanology - Rising Waters: The Thames River Resilience Project

  6. Buzzards Bay Coalition - Discover Buzzards Bay: Providing Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for New Bedford Youth

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 (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities within formal K-12 programs that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom. Funded projects provide MWEEs for students and related professional development for teachers.

New England B-WET focuses on the priorities and challenges facing New England watersheds by helping students and teachers apply scientific methods and tools to understand and appreciate their local watershed system. B-WET encourages students to become more interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. By focusing on watersheds where they live and by participating in personally relevant stewardship projects, students and teachers can become knowledgeable stewards of their local environment.

Awards covered two priorities: (1) Backyard B-WET: Investigation of Stewardship and Habitat Restoration on School Grounds, and (2) Grass Roots: Community Resilience in Changing Times.

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To raise awareness and promote activities of a key diadromous species, a global and NOAA-Fisheries-supported initiative has designated 2019 as the International Year of the Salmon. Diadromous fish are those that spend part of their life in freshwater and part in salt water. The Atlantic salmon distinct population segment in the Gulf of Maine is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  We encouraged applicants to consider projects under either priority 1 or priority 2 that also connect to the International Year of the Salmon. Such applications included proposals that explore a community’s historical and contemporary connection to Atlantic salmon and/or other diadromous species (e.g., shad, river herring, American eel), promote student and/or community awareness about Atlantic salmon and/or other diadromous fish conservation issues such as fish passage or river health, connect students to their local rivers and watersheds, and provide examples of what humans can do to ensure the health of these important ecosystems.

Information on the B-WET New England program, including examples of education partnerships that have been funded to date, is available. Contact Deirdre Kimball at 978-281-9290 or Deirdre.Kimball@noaa.gov  with questions.