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  • John McLaughlin, NOAA
  • Steve Feldman, Assoc. of Zoos & Aquariums
    301-562-0777, ext. 252

NOAA Announces $9 Million in Ocean Education Grants to National Aquariums

October 5, 2009

Children at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md.
Children at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md.

High resolution (Credit: With permission from the National Aquarium in Baltimore)

NOAA today announced 11 grants totaling more than $9 million that will create new education projects in aquariums across the nation. The projects will educate visitors about the ocean and encourage better stewardship of the marine environment.

“We want to get people excited about the ocean and one of the best ways to do that is to work with our partners at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to promote the development of new and exciting programs,” said Louisa Koch, director, NOAA Education. “The aquariums receiving these grants will reach millions of visitors who, we hope, will become better stewards of our ocean environment.”

The grants were made to the following organizations:

The projects were selected based on the importance, relevance and applicability of stated goals; technical and scientific merit; overall qualification of the proposing applicants; feasibility of the project to meet time and cost goals; and whether the project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy related to NOAA’s mission to protect the nation’s natural resources. 

The aquariums that received the grants are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). 

"AZA-accredited aquariums reach millions of people with engaging science education programs - a perfect match for NOAA education programs on ocean and climate literacy," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "NOAA is a great partner and we look forward to working together on our shared mission."

The projects feature plans for sharing evaluation results and project impacts through presentations and peer-reviewed publications.  Evaluation reports will also be posted online, a website supported by the National Science Foundation, in an effort to further inform the broad field of informal science education about what is learned from the projects. 

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.