The House passed the Ocean, Coastal, and Watershed Education Act (HR 3644) on Friday, March 19, by a vote of 244 to 170, with bipartisan support (9 Republicans) and one minor amendment.
HR 3644 authorizes and expands two existing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration education grant programs: the national Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG) program and the regional Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program. It authorizes $145 million over 5 years, and allows NOAA to expand the program to new regions, with priority given to new programs for the Great Lakes region, Alaska, Mid-Atlantic region, and U.S. Territories.
Congratulations to all of you who helped CEL over the past year move this bill forward - this is a major win for environmental, ocean, coastal, and climate change education! I want to particularly acknowledge the National Wildlife Federation for their staunch support and unflagging efforts on this bill over the past year - Patrick Fitzgerald and his NWF colleagues have truly been invaluable in the effort to get the bill this far.
Now to the Senate! Stay tuned.