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Grants for Clean Water (Washington)

2010 October 15
by Community Consulting

The theme of Blog Action Day 2010 is clean water, a cause close to my heart since I live by an urban stream in north Seattle.

My neighborhood is called North Ballard by some, Broadview by others and Carkeek Park by still others. I call it the Pipers Creek Watershed.

The 1800 acre watershed is drained by a stream that used to be home to wild salmon. Those days are past, due probably to runoff from toxic lawns and oily streets. But local volunteers and the city have helped rehabilitate the stream, and it is populated by salmon again, albeit of the hatchery variety. (Though I’m told wild coho and steelhead are sometimes spotted in the creek.) The salmon should return in a few weeks. The run typically lasts from around Thanksgiving to mid-December.

How was Pipers Creek rehabilitated? A lot of volunteers, city workers and some grant money. So here’s a list of some resources to consider for your clean water project.

Of course there are the EPA (for example, the $5 billion Clean Water State Revolving Fund) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

At the state level for Washington, the Department of Ecology is the source for clean water funds. There’s almost certainly a similar body in your state. Be aware that the state funds go mainly to governmental entities (counties, cities, conservation districts, tribes) but some nonprofits are eligible. Grant deadlines are typically in the fall, so go to their website now!

The Department of Ecology’s priorities are:

  1. Stream restoration and protection.
  2. Stormwater management and control.
  3. Construction of wastewater treatment plants and upgrades in small, financially-distressed towns.
  4. Planning, design and construction or upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities in large urban areas.
  5. On-site septic repair and replacement.

Normally, I would say think locally as well for grant funds.

Alas, this year’s budget crunch means money has dried up at both the county and city levels. (For example, the excellent WaterWorks program has been canceled, permanently it appears.) At the city level, there may be a few neighborhood grant funds. It’s a depressing situation, and I’m pretty sure Seattle is representative of most communities.

But when the economy rebounds (and it will), local clean water funding should return. In the meantime, I send out heart-felt thanks to all the volunteers that have helped restore urban creeks and streams in Seattle and beyond.

Your efforts are especially appreciated in these lean times!

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  1. Community Consulting permalink*
    January 25, 2016

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