Fines paid for water quality violations in Washington in the last few years will fund $331,000 in projects designed to restore local ecosystems.
This includes $45,000 for Pacific County projects in the lower Green Creek and Willapa River.
The Washington Department of Ecology is awarding up to $45,000 for each of 12 projects that will improve water quality through environmental enhancements.
Nine projects are located in eastern Washington and three in western Washington. Grays Harbor saw no funding in this announcement.
The grants support work that will start in May.
Ecology awarded the grants to 12 local governments and nonprofit organizations who will use the grants to remove illegally dumped materials from local streams, install fencing to keep livestock off impaired streams, remove invasive plants and animals, and plant native shoreline vegetation to cool water temperatures and improve salmon and wildlife habitat.
The grants are provided through the Ecology department’s Terry Husseman Account to help local and tribal governments; conservation, port and utility districts; fisheries enhancement groups, and other organizations pay for a wide range of environmental projects.
“This is a great program because we are taking a portion of the money we receive from those who harmed state water quality and are returning it to our community partners to help them enhance and restore streams and rivers,” said Gordon White, who oversees Ecology’s statewide shoreline, floodplain and wetland management activities.
The account is named after Terry Husseman, a long-time Ecology deputy director who died in 1998, to honor his contributions in environmental management. The account is funded by penalties the department issues for violations of the state Water Pollution Control Act.
This year, Ecology considered 32 grant requests. The department weighed each proposal’s local support and involvement, expected environmental benefits, cost effectiveness, and readiness to proceed and be completed on time and on budget.
More than two-thirds of Ecology’s budget goes to Washington communities through grant and loan programs, including the Terry Husseman Account, that support environmental programs and projects.
List of 2019-20 Terry Husseman Account grant awards