Ocean Guardian School

picture of children and teacher holding bags of trash

The 2020-2021 Ocean Guardian School grant application will open on April 1, 2020 and be due on May 1, 2020.

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


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.  


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.

Any school (preK-12) located in the following TEXAS counties: Galveston and Harris.

Any school (preK-12) located in Monroe County, FLORIDA.

Schools located outside these counties may apply to participate in the Ocean Guardian School program without funding. In this case, schools must submit an application by May 1.

Grants are awarded up to $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. Maximum funding amounts are: Years 1-3 = $4,000; Year 4 = $2,500; Year 5 = $1,000. Schools are welcome to apply to participate in the program without funding. Applications for non-funded projects are due by May 1.


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.
  • 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 preferred) of your completed application form. Remember to keep an extra copy for your files. Mail both copies to the appropriate address below:

NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Attn: Ocean Guardian School Program
115 East Railroad Avenue, Suite #301
Port Angeles, WA 98362

NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office
Attn: Amy Clark (Ocean Guardian School Program)
1021 Balch Boulevard, Suite 1003
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529

ALL OTHER Schools:
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 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.

Use of a delivery service must be documented with a receipt. Applications sent via fax or email will NOT 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