The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is pleased to offer your organization the opportunity to apply for an Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grant. Through this mini-grants program, NAAEE supports partnerships sharing the mutual aquaculture literacy goals of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Education, NOAA Fisheries, and the National Sea Grant Office. These mini-grants will provide informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums), aquaculture industry (e.g., shellfish, finfish, and seaweed farmers), and NOAA partners with support for the co-development of innovative educational experiences that explore aquaculture topics. Successful proposals will use the unique education mission of the eeBLUE partnership—a collaboration between NAAEE and NOAA's Office of Education—as a context for engagement and advancement of public aquaculture literacy.
Aquaculture literacy within a community builds on and supports the collective goals of environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is "the possession of knowledge and understanding of a wide range of environmental concepts, problems, and issues; cognitive and affective dispositions toward the environment; cognitive skills and abilities; and appropriate behavioral strategies to make sound and effective environmental decisions. It includes informed decision making individually and collectively and a willingness to act on those decisions in personal and civic life to improve the well-being of other individuals, societies and the global environment” (Hollweg et al. 2011; NOAA's Community Resilience Education Theory of Change, 2020). Projects should implement formal or informal educational opportunities that build the collective environmental literacy necessary for communities to become more familiar with the aquaculture sector and understand related environmental topics.
January 10, 2024: Request for proposals announced
January 31, 2024: Informational Webinar
March 15, 2024: Request for proposals closes at 11:59 PM (Eastern)
March 15 to May 1, 2024: Review and selection
From 2021–2023, the first cohort of the aquaculture literacy mini-grant program built diverse, collaborative networks in ten communities across the United States. Their reported outcomes underscored the effectiveness of small-scale grant-making and the significance of flexibility and responsiveness in meeting partners where they were. Explore more about their impactful partnerships here.
In addition to managing this grant program focused on building partnerships, NAAEE is working closely with NOAA's Office of Education to support a wide range of opportunities in outreach and education through the eeBLUE Partnership program. Through this mini-grant opportunity, one of many collaborative eeBLUE efforts, NAAEE is committed to leveraging NOAA and NAAEE resources to increase participants' understanding and stewardship of sustainable aquaculture activities and related environmental topics. NAAEE is also interested in forging lasting partnerships between environmental education providers, aquaculture industry experts, and NOAA to achieve greater impacts at several levels. This competitively-based funding opportunity aims to support such partnerships by funding the development of aquaculture education programs that are responsive to the following goals of the Community of Practice for Aquaculture Literacy (CoPAL):
- Bringing aquaculture education programming to institutions and/or target audiences currently lacking resources;
- Building the capacity of environmental education providers to offer high-quality programming in informal and formal settings by matching aquaculture communication needs with existing research and
- Developing creative approaches for public engagement that promote a culture that values innovation, exploration, and community-relevant learning as a context for improving public aquaculture literacy.
- Identifies ways to integrate aquaculture topics into broader seafood communications, enhancing public understanding that wild capture fisheries and farmed seafood are intertwined.
Mini-grants will support collaborative projects that create a partnership between (1) informal learning institutions (e.g., science centers and aquariums), (2) aquaculture industry experts (e.g., shellfish farmers, researchers, or organizations), and (3) NOAA (e.g., NOAA aquaculture coordinators and/or Sea Grant extension agents). The total portfolio of funded projects is anticipated to reach a minimum of 4 regions with approximately eight projects in 2024, encouraging but not limiting partnerships between Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELC) network members as the informal learning institution. Mini-grant activities will focus on the co-production and delivery of essential education and outreach resources to the target audiences served by understanding and discussing aquaculture topics related to their community.
Project proposals should be submitted directly to eeBLUE@naaee.org at 11:59 PM (EST) on March 15th, 2024.
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