Communities around the state will soon receive grant funds to support projects that protect rivers and improve streamflows. The Washington Department of Ecology is slated to distribute about $35 million for 26 high-priority projects in 22 watersheds.
The funding supports projects to increase water storage capacity, improve fish habitat, acquire water rights, and improve water management and infrastructure.
Ecology received 57 competitive applications from across the state. This is the third round of grants as part of a 15-year program created by the Washington Legislature to invest in improving streamflows and protecting habitat.. In 2020, Ecology awarded $22 million for 21 projects in 16 watersheds. In 2019, Ecology awarded $20 million in 16 projects in 11 watersheds.
Some projects selected for funding this year include:
- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation - $2,858,231 to conserve 175 acres of floodplain, restore floodplain function, improve fish habitat, and purchase water rights to improve streamflow.
- Kittitas Conservation Trust - $1,926,025 to improve streamflow and habitat conditions on the upper Kachess River.
- Adopt A Stream Foundation – $1,588,955 for a water storage project to restore wetland, stream channel, and riparian habitat in Jones Creek.
- Great Peninsula Conservancy - $1,349,200 to protect and restore summer flows and critical habitat for endangered Hood Canal summer chum and reconnect 40 acres of floodplain.
A complete list of applicants and funded projects is available online.
The Washington Legislature created this grant program as part of the 2018 Streamflow Restoration law that seeks to protect rivers and streams while providing water for rural homes. The grant program helps state and local agencies, Tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations implement local plans and projects.