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FY23 Federal Budget Update

It’s fall, y’all! That means cooler temperatures, back to school, and the countdown to the end of the fiscal year. With just days left until federal funding runs out, we can expect to see Congress negotiating a short term continuing resolution that, if all goes well, will keep the government funded at current levels, likely into December. While these negotiations play out, there remain very good signs for much-needed increases in funding for key environmental education (EE) programs at EPA and NOAA. We’ve got the latest for you on the federal budget below.

Our hopes are still high for increases in funding for critical environmental education programs at EPA and NOAA. The House passed a package of funding bills in July that included an historic $14M for the Office of Environmental Education at EPA. This would match the fully authorized amount under the National Environmental Education Act and reflect a more than $5M increase over the last several funding cycles. The Senate appropriations bill currently includes $10M, a significantly smaller amount for the office, but an increase nonetheless. We are hopeful that reconciliation between the two chambers will split the difference at $12M, which would still represent a remarkable boost for this small but mighty program! 

The House Appropriations Committee also approved a bill over the summer that would provide NOAA's Office of Education with more than $40M—an increase of $6.6M, which would include an additional $1M for the regional BWET grant program. On the Senate side, appropriators have proposed a more modest boost—$38M total for the office, and a slight bump of $250k for the BWET program in particular. Regardless of the outcome, it is heartening to see continued incremental growth in NOAA’s high impact environmental education programs. 

Stay tuned for more updates and targeted outreach opportunities as the budget process winds on! 

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