Up to $40 million in grants will be available for projects intended to protect and enhance streamflows while providing water for rural homes in Washington. The Washington Department of Ecology is accepting applications for its fourth round of streamflow restoration grants.
Funding is open to projects across the state, with priority given to projects located in watersheds identified in the Streamflow Restoration law. Other priorities include projects benefitting threatened or endangered salmon and other fish.
The grants are intended to fund water storage projects, fish habitat improvements, water right acquisitions or improvements in water management and infrastructure. Eligible applicants include tribal governments, public entities and non-profit organizations within Washington. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 29.
In previous years, these grants have funded a range of projects around the state. One project in central Washington purchased the 2,524-acre Antoine Valley Ranch in the Okanogan watershed, dedicating its senior water rights to remain in streams, with plans to restore instream and stream-side habitat on the property for steelhead recovery. A project underway in Enumclaw is returning Boise Creek at the Enumclaw Golf Course to its historic natural channel and dedicating a water right to improve instream flow. These projects increase streamflows to help support robust, healthy and sustainable salmon populations while also helping to meet the water needs for local residents, communities and farms.
"This funding is making a critical difference in our ability to balance the water needs for rural communities and farms with the streamflow levels that salmon require to survive and thrive,”," said Vanessa Brinkhuis, Ecology’s streamflow restoration grant unit supervisor. "We're excited to continue to support these projects and expand our efforts to protect and restore streamflow in watersheds across our state.”
Brinkhuis said potential applicants who want to schedule pre-application meetings should do so before Feb. 15.
In preparation for the application process, Ecology is hosting a virtual applicant workshop. The workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, please register in advance here. For those unable to attend, there will be a recording of the workshop posted on our website no later than Jan. 19.
More details about the workshop and the application requirements can be found on our website: https://ecology.wa.gov/streamflowgrants.