Funding for Salmon Habitat

Photo showing students from Mt. Rainier High School planting trees on Massey Creek in October 2002

Do you have a habitat restoration or protection project in mind? Are you looking for money to help make your good idea for salmon a reality? The WRIA 9 Watershed Salmon Habitat Team can help you find money through a variety of sources.

A few funding sources are directed in part by the Watershed Ecosystem Forum:

Entities participating in the watershed salmon habitat recovery process have also implemented habitat projects on their own or through other funding opportunities. To learn more about projects completed in your community, visit the Local Activities and Partners page. For updated information, visit the Habitat Work Schedule (HWS) database website and click on WRIA 9 on the map.

Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Since 1999, the Watershed Ecosystem Forum (Forum) and its predecessor committee has annually solicited, reviewed and ranked applications for state and federal funding administered through the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB).

Between 1999 and 2009 ("pre-SRFB" allocation and rounds 1-10), 33 projects in the watershed have received SRFB (and Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration) grants totaling $13 million. These funds have in turn leveraged over $16 million in local, state, and federal funds.

For each SRFB funding round, the WRIA 9 Forum seeks proposals for habitat projects that contribute to Chinook salmon recovery in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed. Restoration, acquisition, and assessment projects that benefit Chinook salmon, and the habitat and ecosystem functions on which they depend are eligible. Proposals must have strong technical merit, meet SRFB requirements, and be recommended in or consistent with the Salmon Habitat Plan. Cities, King County, Tribes, non-profit groups, conservation districts, regional fisheries enhancement groups, and special purpose districts all are eligible to apply.

For more information on the SRFB process, please visit the RCO website. To determine your eligibility, please consult Manual 18 for all projects and Manual 3 for projects that include an acquisition. The 2019 grant round timeline is available here.

For more information, contact Suzanna Smith, Habitat Projects Coordinator, 206-477-4641.

Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Grant Program

The Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) fund supports projects that recover salmon and protect and recover salmon habitat in Puget Sound. The state legislature appropriates money for PSAR every two years in the Capital Budget. PSAR is co-managed by the Puget Sound Partnership and the Recreation and Conservation Office. Local entities identify and propose priority PSAR projects. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board approves projects for funding.

The PSAR Large Capital Program funds projects that are above the traditional funding amounts awarded to any lead entity. This competitive grant round is every two years (on even years) in the same cycle as traditional (regular) PSAR funding. The minimum funding amount for any WRIA 9 large capital project is $1,101,000, with no maximum.

For more information on the PSAR program, please visit the Puget Sound Partnership website.

For more information on WRIA 9/PSAR, contact Suzanna Smith, Habitat Projects Coordinator at (206) 477-4641.

Cooperative Watershed Management (CWM) Grant Program

In 2012 the King County Flood Control District (FCD) agreed to provide funding to support watershed salmon recovery projects and activities in King County watersheds through a Cooperative Watershed Management (CWM) Grant Program. The WRIA 9 Forum makes recommendations about how to use the approximate $1.7 million in CWM funds annually to to support habitat protection and restoration projects, stewardship projects and programs, and essential technical assessments.

Grant Resources:

To learn more about funding through the WRIA 9 Forum/CWM partnership, contact Suzanna Smith, Habitat Projects Coordinator, 206-477-4641.

Re-Green the Green Grant Program

Re-Green the Green Riparian Revegetation Grant program supports projects designed to enhance riparian vegetation along the Green/Duwamish River and its tributaries within WRIA 9.

The WRIA 9 Forum is eager to assist private non-profit corporations (501(c)3 status), tribal governments, local governments (City, County), Conservation Districts, and schools in funding projects that help improve conditions for salmon and water quality in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound watershed. Information about other projects and programs underway or planned in the watershed can be found in the WRIA 9 Salmon Habitat Plan.

This fund supports projects that enhance riparian shade to improve conditions for salmon and meet water quality standards. There is a need to restore trees and native vegetation on all land use types, urban and rural, along the entire length of the Green River and its tributaries. Riparian revegetation projects improve water quality, salmon habitat, and contribute to the urban tree canopy. WRIA 9’s 2016 Re-Green the Green: Riparian Revegetation Strategy for the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed provides important background, scientific basis, and identifies priorities for revegetation projects, including the banks of the rivers and streams mapped as high shade priority based on their solar sun angle or aspect.

Anticipated funding available is $250,000 with a $7,500 minimum grant award and a maximum award of $60,000.

Grant Resources:

1 Million Trees Assistance Program

King County launched the 1 Million Trees initiative following the County’s adoption of its Strategic Climate Action Plan in 2015. The goal is to plant 1 million trees by 2020 as a way to support carbon sequestration and healthy forests, streams, and neighborhoods. 

To support the initiative for planting large numbers of trees by the end of 2020, each WRIA in King County will have $175,000 available to support tree planting. These grants are being solicited alongside CWM grants, with CWM being a great source of matching funds for project elements not covered by the 1 Million Trees grant funds.

Eligible Activities:

Funds must go toward the cost of trees or tree planting labor (consult the eligible plant list linked below for eligible trees). Site preparation, project management/grant administration, and other activities are not eligible for these funds. All funds must be expended by December 31, 2020.

There is a preference for projects located in urban areas, although that is not required. The 1 Million Trees grants can be used for planting projects in upland areas, but preference will be given to riparian proposals. A direct connection to Chinook salmon streams - required for CWM - is not required for these funds.

Grant Resources:

Other Funding Opportunities

Learn about possible funding mechanisms to support salmon recovery.

For more information, contact Suzanna Smith, Habitat Projects Coordinator at (206) 477-4641.