Office of Environmental Education

Office administers four different grant programs:  Clean Diesel School Bus Fund Retrofit Grants,  Ohio Environmental Education Fund, Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program and Environmental Science and Engineering Scholarships.

Call (614) 644-2873 or email oeef@epa.ohio.gov to be added to the interested parties list for any of these grant programs.

We also provide publications and resources for environmental educators and teachers; workshops on water quality monitoring methods and grant writing; and statewide coordination of the Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) and Healthy Water, Healthy People curricula for elementary, middle and high schools.

We are currently partnering with the Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio to support a statewide network of 500 Environmental Career Ambassadors to introduce Ohio Students to careers in environmental science and engineering.

Ohio Environmental Education Fund 

Ohio EPA invites comments on the OEEF Annual Agenda for State Fiscal Year 2017. The Agenda sets out current funding priorities for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, as well as current environmental career initiatives and water quality education efforts.

The next application deadline for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund will be July 15, 2016. The Request for Proposals is expected to be released in early May.

OEEF grant guidelines and funding priorities have been revised.  Prior to submitting a letter of intent, please read the guidelines carefully.

2016 General Grant Guidelines

2016 Mini Grant Guidelines

To submit a letter of intent, go to the eBusiness Center and create an account (user ID and password). Once the account is approved, follow the web link in your account approval e-mail and click on the OEEF Grant Service link to continue.

Clean Diesel School Bus Grants

The deadline to apply is March 1, 2016. For information, click on the Clean School Bus Grants tab above.

Diesel Emission Reduction Grants

The 2015 DERG Request for Proposals is now closed.  There will be another grant application opportunity in the spring of 2016.   For more information, please see the Diesel Emission Reduction Grants tab.

Environmental Science and Engineering Scholarships

The deadline to apply is April 15, 2016. For information, click on the Scholarships tab above.

Ohio EPA invites comments on the OEEF Annual Agenda for State Fiscal Year 2017. The Agenda sets out current funding priorities for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, as well as current environmental career initiatives and water quality education efforts. Comments may be submitted by email to oeef@epa.ohio.gov, by mail to Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education, 50 W. Town St., Suite 700, Columbus, OH 43216-1049, or in person at a public hearing on March 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Ohio EPA headquarters at the same address. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on March 31 to be included in the official record.

OEEF grant guidelines for 2016 Mini Grants and 2016 General Grants are now posted. Please read the guidelines carefully. The next Request for Proposals (RFP) is expected to be released in early May. Electronic letters of intent to apply must be submitted in the online application software no later than 5 p.m. on July 8, 2016. Complete applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. on July 15, 2016.

To apply, go to the eBusiness Center and create an account (user ID and password). Once the account is approved, follow the web link in your account approval e-mail and click on the OEEF Grant Service link to continue.

The OEEF was created by the General Assembly in 1990 to enhance Ohio citizens’ awareness and understanding of environmental issues. It is administered by the Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and provides approximately $1 million annually in grants to support environmental education efforts within the state of Ohio.

The OEEF derives its monies from one-half of the civil penalties collected from violations of Ohio's air and water pollution control regulations. The OEEF funds education projects that target three audiences: (1) the general public; (2) the regulated community; and (3) pre-school through university students and teachers. General grants are available for $5,000 to $50,000, and mini grants for projects costing between $500 and $5,000.

Application guidelines spell out application requirements, current funding priorities, the application review process, and preferred characteristics for projects targeting the respective audiences. OEEF grant coordinators are also available to assist in preparing grant proposals prior to the deadline dates, and to advise applicants on the eligibility of possible projects. OEEF grant-writing workshops are also offered around the state several times yearly.

There are two grant cycles annually, with application deadlines on January 15 and July 15. OEEF supports innovative projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues, and provide the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions. Environmental education is based on objective and scientifically sound information, and does not advocate a particular viewpoint or course of action. It teaches individuals how to weigh various sides of an issue through critical thinking, and it enhances their problem-solving and decision-making skills.

A list of past grant recipients illustrates the variety of projects that have been funded. Descriptions of OEEF Outstanding Project Award Winners showcase successful environmental education efforts that we encourage grant applicants to emulate.

2017 OEEF Annual Agenda

2015 OEEF Annual Report

OEEF Program Brochure

Application Guidelines and Resources

OEEF 2016 General Grant Guidelines


OEEF 2016 Mini Grant Guidelines


OEEF Grant Preferred Characteristics


OEEF Application Review Process


Grant Administration Reference Document (GARD)

The document contains reporting guidelines for your general and mini grants. However, we encourage grantees to contact OEEF if a particular circumstance arises that may not be covered in your GARD and we will be glad to assist you.

“Resources for Grant Seekers” and “Resources to Help You Evaluate Your Grant Program” are links (to be updated periodically) that will provide additional  information to help with your funding search and proposal preparation.

General Grants

Mini Grants

Resources for Grant Seekers:

Talk to a reference librarian in your public library!

Resources to Help You Evaluate Your Grant Program:

Past Grant Recipients

Outstanding Projects

Featured Environmental Education Projects

Periodically, the OEEF contracts with the Environmental Education Council of Ohio to conduct an independent review of completed grant projects, in order to select OEEF Outstanding Project award winners. OEEF highlights these projects as examples of effective environmental education. Because of the great variety in OEEF-funded projects, EECO and the OEEF developed a set of holistic instruments for use in reviewing these completed grant projects, Rubrics Cubed: What One Grant Maker Looks for in EE Projects [PDF].  These are the instruments that we use:

For K-12 education projects:
For general public/adult education projects:

OEEF also uses a tool for Web site evaluation for both K-12 and general public projects that contain a Web site component.


* Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external Web sites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external Web site, you are leaving Ohio EPA's Web site and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.


Grant Writing Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

  • Wednesday, May 25, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Grant Writing 101/102 Spring Hollow Lodge, 1069 W. Main St., Westerville, Ohio 43081 Map. Email dennis.clement@epa.ohio.gov by May 20, 2016 to register. More details.
  • Wednesday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. Grant Writing 101/102 Fallen Timbers Visitor Center, 4949 Jerome Road, Maumee, Ohio 43537 Map. Email dennis.clement@epa.ohio.gov by June 3, 2016 to register. More details.

Contact Dennis Clement at (614) 644-2048 or dennis.clement@epa.ohio.gov for details.

Environmental Education Resources

Partnerships

The Office of Environmental Education also works closely with partner organizations and other governmental agencies to promote and coordinate environmental education efforts.

* Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external Web sites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external Web site, you are leaving Ohio EPA's Web site and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.

The Ohio EPA Clean Diesel School Bus Fund Retrofit Grant Program offers grants up to $300,000 to retrofit diesel school buses with pollution control equipment and idle reduction equipment, to reduce student and driver exposure to the harmful pollutants in diesel exhaust and to conserve fuel. The 2016 application deadline is March 1. Public school districts and county developmental disability programs in Ohio are eligible to apply. 

Applications from every county will be accepted, but priority for funding is given to applicants that already have anti-idling policies in place for their buses, and applicants located in 28 Ohio priority counties that historically did not meet national air quality standards for fine particulates (soot particles). This list may be revised by U.S. EPA in 2015.

Grants are funded from civil penalties Ohio EPA collects from environmental violations as well as federal grants. Since the program began, Ohio EPA has awarded more than $8.1 million to retrofit 2,557 school buses with emission controls and 948 buses with idle reduction equipment. These grants have removed more than 100 tons of pollutants from Ohio's air. Grants have been awarded to 166 school districts and developmental disability programs.

For additional questions about the grant program, please email Carolyn.Watkins@epa.ohio.gov or call (614) 644-2873. For questions about diesel bus retrofitting, particle standards or program rules, email John Paulian or call (614) 644-4832.

Notice to school bus grant applicants and vendors:  Some diesel emission control technologies require temperature testing or data-logging to ensure that technology is appropriate for a particular bus. This testing should be completed BEFORE submitting a grant application to Ohio EPA. Ohio EPA will not approve requests for modifications to awarded grants that result in significantly less emission reductions. If a technology is found to be inappropriate after a grant is awarded, the grant funds for the affected buses will be forfeited, and the grantee will have to submit a new grant application in a subsequent grant cycle to request funds for the lower-level reduction technology on those buses.

Forms for Grant Recipients

 

School BusU.S. EPA also has a Clean School Bus program designed to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and reduce the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses. According to U.S. EPA, 24 million children ride a school bus every day and, on average, students spend 90 minutes each weekday in a school bus.

U.S. EPA’s Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative also provides funding for school bus retrofits and replacements. More information is available at http://archive.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/web/html/index.html.

Ohio EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Grant (DERG) program described elsewhere on this page provides funding for replacement school buses, retrofits and idle reduction projects in eligible Ohio counties.
 

An interview with Granville Local Schools transportation staff about their pre-heater installations is featured in a webinar about idle reduction on the Ohio Department of Health’s School Environmental Health and Safety page.  The webinar also features an interview with researchers about the effectiveness of anti-idling education in reducing emissions and improving air quality around schools in Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati's Department of Environmental Health is conducting a multi-year study to determine if children with higher levels of exposure to diesel exhaust particles are at increased risk for hypersensitivity to specific allergens and related respiratory disorders.

For more information about this project and similar publications from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study, visit www.eh.uc.edu/ccaaps/.

The Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program awarded $35 million in Federal Highway Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding for clean diesel projects in the 2012-2015 application cycles. The list of new grant awards from the December 2015 application cycle is posted below. The 2015 DERG Request for Proposals is closed, but the application information remains posted below for informational purposes. There will be another application cycle later in 2016, when ODOT and Ohio EPA expect to have approximately $10 million available to award. If you are not already on the list of DERG interested parties, please send your contact information to DERG@epa.ohio.gov in order to receive email notifications about the grant program.

For questions about the grant program, please contact Carolyn Watkins at Carolyn.Watkins@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 644-3768. For questions about eligible clean diesel technologies and estimating emissions reductions, please contact Alan Harness at Alan.Harness@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 644-4838.

DERG program overview slides October 2015 

Previous DERG Grant Awards

DERG projects are administered jointly by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

Related Information

Phone: (614) 644-2160
Fax: (614) 644-2738
Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Ohio EPA - Public Interest Center
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Mailing address:
Ohio EPA - PIC
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 

Environmental Education Staff
Watkins, Carolyn Office Chief   (614) 644-2873
Shuman, Justin Administrative Professional 4
(614) 644-2873
Clement, Dennis Ohio Environmental Education Fund (614) 644-2048
Montavon, Jeff Ohio Environmental Education Fund (614) 644-3671
     

Ohio Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)
This video is an introduction to the Ohio Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Program, which is an award-winning national curriculum facilitated in Ohio by the Office of Environmental Education at Ohio EPA.