Floodplains by Design grant program

Floodplains by Design (FbD) is our primary grant program for projects that help communities live better in their floodplain. This competitive grant program is a component of a public-private partnership led by Ecology, The Nature Conservancy, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and the Puget Sound Partnership. It is focused on re-establishing floodplain functions in Washington’s major river corridors.

Floodplains provide important habitat for salmon, rich soil for farms, and beautiful backdrops for residents and visitors to Washington. In the past, attempts were made to control rivers, thinking flooding could be stopped by walling off rivers with levees, straightening them, and laying a grid of commercial and residential development across them. Now, salmon runs are disappearing, and more people live in the path of dangerous floodwaters.

Local and Tribal governments along with nonprofit organizations are using FbD grants across Washington to complete multi-benefit projects that reduce flood hazards to communities while restoring the natural functions of rivers and their floodplains. These FbD projects bring together many different stakeholders in the floodplain to:

  • Improve flood protection for communities that live and work in floodplains
  • Conserve and restore habitat for salmon and other important aquatic species
  • Preserve farmland to keep agriculture viable for future generations
  • Improve water quality
  • Enhance outdoor recreation

Funding cycle

  • Amount of funding available: Varies - determined by the state Legislature
  • Funding allocated:
  • Grant award limit: Achievable in two to three years
  • Amount of matching funds required: 20 percent, waived for Economically Distressed Communities (see Appendix F of Guidelines)

Applications are currently being accepted.

Pre-applications for the 2023-2025 Biennium will be accepted:

Start date: Nov 1, 2021
End date: Jan 14, 2022

We are currently accepting pre-applications for the FbD grant program. Pre-applications submitted during this time will be screened to determine their suitability with the intent of the FbD program. We strongly encourage applicants review the 2023-2025 funding guidelines before preparing a pre-application.

For your project to be considered for the 2023-2025 Biennium, please download and complete a pre-application form. Your completed pre-application form should be submitted to Scott McKinney by Jan. 14, 2022.

We will release the results of the pre-application review by January 28, 2022.

Proponents of projects determined to be a good fit for the FbD program will be invited to give a presentation to evaluators between February 14-18, 2022. We have provided a proposal template for you to download and use to prepare your virtual presentation.

For more information about the FbD program, including questions on pre-applications, please email Scott McKinney, Ecology’s statewide Floodplains by Design project coordinator, or call 360-407-6131.

Funding is available for the following entities:

Local and Tribal governments, port districts, flood control zone districts, flood control and diking and drainage districts, conservation districts, municipal and quasi-municipal corporations, and non-profits that are recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt.

Flood hazard reduction projects that also contain an ecosystem restoration aspect as outlined in the funding guidelines.

More information about this funding program

Funding program guidelines

Project presentations

Proponents of projects determined to be a good fit for the FbD program will be invited to give a presentation to evaluators between February 14-18, 2022.

Nearly all pre-applicants will be invited to deliver a virtual presentation of their project. We recommend working on presentations early. Presentations offer the opportunity to tell the broader story of how your current proposal fits into the approach for integrated floodplain management for your area, and allows real-time feedback from the evaluation team.

Presentations should last 25 minutes or less and must follow the format provided. We have provided a proposal template for you to download and use. Dates and times will be provided once we know how many applicants there are. Meeting links and other details will be provided directly to applicants via email in late January. Please contact your regional Ecology staff with any questions about the presentation process.

Submittal of full applications will begin March 15, 2022 and end April 29, 2022. We have posted extensive information about the FbD program and what makes a good project in our FbD grant funding guidelines document.