Ocean Guardian School

picture of children and teacher holding bags of trash

The 2022-2023 application period has closed. The 2023-2024 application will open in April 2023.

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


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.


Participation Without Funding:  Any school (PreK-12) in the United States may apply to participate in the Ocean Guardian School program without funding.

Participation With Funding: Any school (PreK-12) from the following locations below may apply for an Ocean Guardian School grant: 

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.

Any school (PreK-12) located in HAWAII.

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.


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: EMAIL your completed application to the appropriate address below.

WASHINGTON, OREGON Schools: jacqueline.laverdure@noaa.gov

FLORIDA, TEXAS Schools: amy.clark@noaa.gov

HAWAII Schools: mahealani.bambico@noaa.gov

ALL OTHER Schools: seaberry.nachbar@noaa.gov


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


  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 Seaberry Nachbar