The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announced Tuesday that it is offering “Ocean Guardian” grants of up to $6,000 to a number of California schools whose students create a school- or community-based conservation project that protects the local watershed and the ocean.

Kindergartens through high schools are eligible in the California counties of Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. A total of $100,000 is available through the grant program.

“California can set a great example for schools nationwide by promoting environmental conservation in their local community with funding from the Ocean Guardian school project,” said Seaberry Nachbar of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

In return for taking steps to protect the ocean, each school will receive funds to implement its project and a plaque designating it as an Ocean Guardian school. Funding will range from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the scope of the project. Examples of conservation projects include planting school gardens or nature corridors with native plants, initiating recycling programs to reduce litter, and working with communities to address water quality issues in local watersheds that lead to the ocean.

Interested schools can register by sending an e-mail to to receive an application and guidelines on how to create an action plan for implementing an Ocean Guardian project.

Click here for more information about the Ocean Guardian program.