Floodplains by Design grant program

Floodplains by Design is our primary grant program for projects in the floodplain. This partnership of local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and private organizations works to coordinate projects that reduce community flood hazards while restoring the natural functions Washington rivers and floodplains provide. 

Local organizations have used these grants to improve flood protection for towns and farms, restore salmon habitat, improve water quality, and enhance outdoor recreation.

About the Floodplains by Design partnership

Floodplains by Design is an ambitious public-private partnership working to reduce flood risks and restore habitat along Washington’s major rivers. By transforming how floodplains are managed on a landscape scale, we can support thriving communities and a healthy environment. Since 2013, the Washington Legislature has appropriated $115 million to support large-scale, multiple-benefit projects across the state.

Program goals

  • Reduce flood risks and recover floodplain ecosystems while maintaining or improving agricultural production, water quality, and open space/recreation.
  • Improve coordination of public funding for floodplain efforts.

Primary partners

2019-2021 Funding Cycle

2019-2021 Floodplains by Design grants:
$70 million requested

Ecology, working with our partners at The Nature Conservancy and Puget Sound Partnership, are requesting that $70 million in grant funding be set aside in the two-year 2019-21 state capital budget (July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021) for the Floodplains by Design program. If the Governor and Washington Legislature fund our request, the grants would go toward 18 projects around the state. We anticipate knowing by summer 2019 if our request is successful.

Our ranked, draft 2019-21 project list is below.
Project sponsor Proposed project Rank Funding request
Whatcom County Public Works The Nooksack River: Floodplains that Work 1
Kittitas County Public Works Upper yakima River Floodplain and Habitat Acquisition 2
Mason Conservation District Skokomish Watershed Ecosystem and Floodplain Restoration Phase 1 3
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation North Fork Touchet Floodplain and Habitat Restoration 4
Yakima County Public Services Gap to Gap 1135 Locally Preferred Alternative 5
Snohomish County Public Works Advancing Sustainable Lands Solutions in the Snohomish Basin 6
Yakima County Public Services Naches-Cowiche Flood Risk Reduction and Floodplain Restoration 7
Pierce County Public Works Floodplains for the Future - Puyallup, White, and Carbon Rivers 8
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Stillaguamish Watershed Integrated Floodplain Management Project 9
King County Water and Land Resources Division Lones Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration 10
Seattle Public Utilities District Cedar River Royal Arch Reach Floodplain Reconnection 11
Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group Lower Big Quilcene River Design and Protection Project 2 12
Town of Hamilton Phase 1, Hamilton Floodplain Planning, Acquisition and Restoration 13
City of Ellensburg Public Works Middle Reach of Reecer Creek Flood Hazard Acquisition and Restoration 2b 14
City of North Bend South Fork Snoqualmie River Levee Setback 15
Skagit County Public Works Colony Creek Comprehensive Floodplain Enhancement 16
Skagit River System Cooperative Barnaby Reach Early Action Projects 17
Mason Conservation District Skokomish Watershed Ecosystem and Floodplain Restoration phase 2 18
Project sponsor Proposed project Rank Funding request
The Nature Conservancy Floodplains by Design Facilitation and Technical assistance Not

It is important to note that 3 percent has been added to each project funding request to pay for our administrative costs.

In addition, as the primary partner in the public-private Floodplains by Design partnership, The Nature Conservancy will provide critical program support including statewide technical assistance, technical studies, and facilitation of public-private-tribal advisory groups related to implementing the proposed capital projects. They will also contribute a minimum of $600,000 in match funding to support these activities.


Previous Funding Cycles