Ecology invests nearly $35 million for 26 projects to help rivers and streams

The Department of Ecology announced funding decisions for communities around the state that will soon receive grant funds to support projects that protect rivers and improve streamflows. 

The department 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.

Among the funded projects is $328,000 for beaver dam restoration within the Chehalis River Basin that was proposed to build upon work already implemented to assist the aquatic ecosystem.

Ecology received 57 competitive applications from across the state. 

Projects that submitted applications, but were not among those chosen in this round, included a request for over $1 million to remove a dam on the West Fork of the Hoquiam river to restore stream flow, and $100,000 to continue streamflow restoration within the Chehalis Basin by the Grays Harbor County Public Services Department.

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.

The Washington Legislature created this grant program as part of the 2018 Streamflow Restoration law that looks to protect rivers and streams while providing water for rural homes. 

A complete list of applicants and funded projects is available online.