The Department of Ecology announced that they funded all five applications for 2023-2025 Competitive Planning Grant projects under the Flood Control Assistance Account Program (FCAAP).
The grant funding is intended to help communities develop comprehensive flood hazard management plans (CFHMPs) that will reduce the risk of flooding and protect lives and property.
Among the funding was nearly $200,000 for the City of Westport.
According to Ecology, Westport will use the funds to develop a CFHMP to help identify flood-prone areas, develop strategies to improve stormwater conveyance infrastructure, and reduce flood risks and damage.
They add that the city also is incorporating environmental justice principles into the planning process to benefit underserved populations in the planning area and throughout Grays Harbor County, saying “the public will be engaged as stakeholders in the development of its comprehensive flood hazard management plan.”
Established in 1984, the FCAAP is a state-funded program that provides grants to local governments, Tribes, and other organizations to help them develop CFHMPs.
These plans identify flood hazards, assess risks, and develop strategies to reduce those risks. CFHMPs are essential tools for communities that want and need to prepare for flooding events.
“Preparing for and avoiding flood damages is so important because storms are increasing in strength and frequency while sea levels are rising due to climate change,” said Ecology Floodplain Planner Amelia Petersen. “Responding to a flood emergency often costs four to seven times more than investing in preventative measures, which saves $7 for every $1 spent.”
The funding application was open to eligible applicants to support communities in Washington state that are at risk of flooding.
Grants were available for up to $500,000 to be used to cover the costs of planning, modeling, technical assistance, and outreach for work supporting or developing a CFHMP.
Funded 2023-2025 projects
|Project||Grant award (not including match)|
|Columbia County Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan
Columbia County Planning & Building will develop a countywide CFHMP to replace the existing outdated one from 2002. The new CFHMP will address flood hazard issues in the Touchet and Tucannon rivers and Patit Creek.
|City of Ellensburg Urban Flood Modeling and Analysis
The City of Ellensburg Public Works Department will complete an in-depth analysis of the Ellensburg Urban Growth Area to update a Kittitas County-led floodplain map process focused on urban flooding from Whiskey and Mercer creeks. The project will increase understanding of flooding in the city and identify effective mitigation actions to inform updates to the current CFHMP and Hazard Mitigation Plan.
|Snohomish County FCAAP Phase 2 – Understanding Flood Risks & Vulnerability
Snohomish County Conservation Natural Resources Department will complete a geomorphic risk assessment in the North Fork Stillaguamish River and implement the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Outreach Plan developed as part of FCAAP fiscal year 2021-2023 award to engage with underserved communities about the impacts of flooding.
|City of Chewelah Flood Modeling and Water Resource Inventory Area 59 CFHMP Groundwork
Stevens County Land Services Department will complete 2D floodplain modeling and analysis, preliminary planning, and stakeholder engagement and outreach with local stakeholders, Tribal co-managers, and the City of Chewelah. The resulting planning and feasibility document will support a larger future Colville River Watershed CFHMP.
|2023 Westport Stormwater Assessment & CFHMP
The City of Westport will develop a CFHMP to help identify flood-prone areas, develop strategies to improve stormwater conveyance infrastructure, and reduce flood risks and damage.
From Dept. of Ecology
Focusing on underserved communities and economically disadvantaged areas
The FCAAP planning grants application includes areas focusing on the benefits of funding to overburdened or underserved communities.
We asked applicants to describe the benefits to overburdened or underserved communities in flood risk areas and provide a narrative and supporting documentation on how underserved or overburdened communities in the floodplain area are currently supported, among several other related questions.
For over 10 years, Ecology didn’t have sufficient FCAAP funding to help our local partners develop flood hazard management plans. Unfortunately, this lack of funds disproportionately affected economically distressed rural communities.
Emerging research shows Latino and Tribal communities are more exposed to flooding. For example, research estimates that while Latino residents make up 8% of Washington’s total population, they comprise 16% of those living in flood zones.
Tribal governments employ more than 37,000 people and generate $5.7 billion to Washington’s economy. They represent Tribes occupying flood-risk areas that would directly benefit from flood planning. Updated flood plans sustaining and enhancing salmon habitat also help address Tribal treaty rights.
To learn more about grant opportunities, visit the FCAAP webpage for more information.