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, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and American Rivers. 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
  • Grant award limit: Soft cap of $10 million
  • Amount of matching funds required: Match is yet to be determined

Applications are currently being accepted.

Pre-applications for the 2025-2027 Biennium will be accepted:

Start date: Nov 1, 2023
End date: Jan 12, 2024

Ecology will host two webinars for prospective applicants: One webinar is for current recipients and recent applicants, which will focus mainly on changes from the 2023-25 funding cycle. The other webinar is for new applicants and anyone who is interested in a more comprehensive overview of the FbD grant program. To register for one of the webinars, please click on one of the links provided below: 

Here is the timeline for the 2025-27 funding cycle: 

Date Program Milestones and Expectations
Nov. 1, 2023 Pre-application period opens.
Nov. 7-8, 2023 Ecology hosts applicant webinars.
Jan. 12, 2024 Pre-application period closes.
Jan. 26, 2024 Pre-application review results announced. Approved applicants invited to give presentations. 
Feb. 12-16, 2024 Applicants give project presentations to the Evaluation Team.  
March 12, 2024 EAGL grant application period opens at 8 a.m.  
May 1, 2024  EAGL grant application period closes at 5 p.m. 
May 6 - June 17, 2024  Application evaluation period. 
Aug. 2024  Ecology finalizes ranked project list.
April-May 2025  Legislature makes the final funding decision. 
June 2025  Ecology sends applicants the notice of funding decisions and grant award offer letters. 
July 1, 2025 Anticipated start date for funded grant agreements.
July-Aug. 2025 Ecology sends draft grant agreements to funded applicants to begin negotiating funded grant agreements.  


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