NOAA Great Lakes Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program announced $941,100 in funding for seven environmental education projects throughout the Great Lakes basin. Great Lakes B-WET awards are funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Ypsilanti, Michigan, July 18, 2023—
The Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a competitive grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program.
The NOAA B-WET program supports hands-on environmental education projects aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of watershed concepts and encouraging community involvement in environmental stewardship. The SEMIS Coalition’s successful application demonstrates its proven impacts working with young people across the region. Since 2018, the SEMIS Coalition has been part of the NOAA Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) community of practice through its grant program. As a grantee, the coalition has gained new perspectives on the important intersections between environmental hazards, watershed health, and climate change.
The funded project “Coalition Connections: Building Watershed and Climate Literacy Through Place-Based Explorations” will expand upon this foundation of work in Place-Based Stewardship Education. Focusing on watershed issues, this project will organize a compelling teacher professional learning sequence for the summers of 2023 and 2024 and the 2023-25 school years. It will create Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) with a focus on community resilience in the school and surrounding neighborhood environments, making it possible for elementary and middle school teachers, their students, and their community partners to develop and implement MWEEs linked to stormwater management, watershed health, and community responses to the effects of climate change.
The SEMIS Coalition professional learning and MWEEs will also support teacher and student civic engagement focused on empowering youth to act on environmental hazards facing their communities.
“We are incredibly grateful to NOAA for selecting SEMIS Coalition as a recipient of this two-year B-WET grant,” said Dr. Ethan Lowenstein, Director of SEMIS Coalition“The funding will allow us to expand our environmental education programs and empower young people to become active stewards of our local environment. We’re excited to work with our partners and the community to inspire a lifelong passion for environmental sustainability, and we’re proud to be one of only three organizations selected for this grant in Michigan.”
The SEMIS Coalition is an alliance of educators, community organizations, and environmental professionals dedicated to fostering environmental literacy and stewardship in Southeast Michigan. The coalition was formed in 2008 and is a regional hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Its local home is Engage@EMU and Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education. With the help of these entities SEMIS Coalition has been actively engaged in providing transformative education experiences to students through an Ecojustice Education framework, cultivating their understanding of and appreciation for the natural world.
To learn more about the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, of which SEMIS Coalition is a member hub, visit greatlakesstewardship.org.
NOAA B-WET is an environmental education program that promotes place-based experiential learning for K-12 students and related professional development for teachers. B-WET fosters the growth of new, innovative programs and encourages capacity-building and environmental education partnerships. For more information on all of the projects in 2022, or projects funded in previous years please visit sanctuaries.noaa.gov/bwet/greatlakes/