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, as well as reducing flood risk.

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 and restore 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 three to four years
  • Amount of matching funds required: 20 percent, waived for Economically Distressed Communities (see Appendix F of Guidelines)

Applications are not being accepted at this time.

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

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

Pre-applications were due Jan. 14, 2022, and reviewed by Ecology staff. Project Proponents determined to be a good fit for the program were invited to give presentations to evaluators over the week of Feb.14-18, 2022.

Proponents who gave presentations are invited to submit full applications beginning March 15, 2022, and ending May 3, 2022. We have posted extensive information about the FbD program and what makes a good project in our FbD Funding Guidelines (see below).

If you have not been through the pre-application and presentation stages for this funding cycle, you cannot apply for the FbD 2023-25 funding cycle. The FbD 2025-27 funding cycle will start in November 2023.

Funding is available for the following entities:

  • Counties, cities, and towns
  • Special purpose districts, such as flood control districts
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • Conservation districts
  • Municipal or quasi-municipal corporations
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service

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

More information about this funding program

Additional grant information

Funding program guidelines