Ocean Guardian School

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Apply Now!

Applications for 2015-2016 are now closed. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year will be due May 1, 2016. The new application form will be posted to the website by April 1, 2016. You can view last year’s application form below.

Before downloading an application form, please be sure to read the "GRANT APPLICATION GUIDELINES" below as well as the Program Guidelines and Requirements.


PDF Application Form  
Example Application -5Rs Pathway
Example Application - Restoration Pathway

Please note: The PDF application form requires Adobe Acrobat. Download a free version of Adobe Acrobat . In order to fill out and save the form, you must download the PDF document to your desktop first, then open it with Adobe Acrobat, as opposed to opening the form via your browser window.  

EXCITING NEWS: New category added to Ocean Guardian School Project Pathway list: ENERGY and OCEAN HEALTH


The Ocean Guardian School program funds projects focused on a current issue(s) affecting local watersheds and/or the ocean while promoting best environmental practices. Through a school- or community-based project, schools work to make a difference in the health and protection of their local watersheds, ocean and/or special ocean areas like national marine sanctuaries.

Any school (preK-12) located in the following CALIFORNIA counties: Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Any school (preK-12) located in the following OREGON counties: Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, Douglas, Coos and Curry. Any School (preK-12) located in the following WASHINGTON counties: Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor and Pacific

Grant amounts range from $1,000-$4,000 per school depending on the level of the project and funding year. A school may re-apply for funding for the same project for up to five (5) successive years. Funding amounts are: $4,000 for Years 1-3, $2,500 for Year 4, and $1,000 for Year 5. If you do not need funding, but you would like to apply to become an Ocean Guardian School, you must still complete and submit an application by May 1st.


Years 1-3

Up to $4,000/year

Year 4

Up to $2,500

Year 5

Up to $1,000


  • Schools must submit a new application for each successive year of funding and/or participation in the grant program. Continuing projects in years 4 and 5 must demonstrate how the project is being integrated within the school, with the goal of the project becoming a sustainable part of the school activities/culture/policies.  To that end, it is reasonable to request zero funding in your 4th or 5th year.

  • For current grant recipients who are applying for new funding for a continued project, please include a progress report of your current project with your new application. This information should include the following:

    • Brief outline of your current  project’s budget report to date (what funds you have spent to-date, what funds will be spent by the end of the school year);
    • Brief outline of your current project’s accomplishments to date (e.g., outreach activities, measurable data, etc.)

  • A school may apply to the Ocean Guardian School program without request for funding.  In this case, the school must submit an application by the official deadline and fulfill all program requirements to be evaluated for official Ocean Guardian School recognition.


Step 1: Download and save the application form to your computer.
Step 2: Complete (and save) the application form. 
Step 3: Print 2 copies, double-sided of your completed application form (remember to keep an extra copy for your files) and mail both copies to: NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Attn: Ocean Guardian School Program, 99 Pacific Street, Building 455-A, Monterey, CA 93940.


ALL grant applications are due by 5 pm Pacific Time on May 1 (for projects to begin at the start of the following academic year). Funding decisions will be made by early June. A proposed project period must run for the full academic year.

Applications must be postmarked or provided to a delivery service by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on May 1. Use of a delivery service must be documented with a receipt. NO fax applications will be accepted.


  1. A specific school- or community-based project that addresses a current issue(s) affecting local watersheds and/or the ocean.
  2. The number of classes and grades directly involved in the project.
  3. How the project will make a difference in the school and/or local community.
  4. The outreach plan for communicating the project to both the school and local community.

Before completing the application form, please review the program guidelines and requirements.

NOTE: A school is not an Ocean Guardian School until the end of the project year after all program requirements have been completed. If all the program requirements have been successfully fulfilled, a school will be officially recognized as a NOAA Ocean Guardian School, and will receive the official Ocean Guardian School banner. A school will receive a different banner for each year they are recognized as an Ocean Guardian School.

For more information, contact Naomi Pollack at Naomi.Pollack@noaa.gov