Oct 28, 2009

EPA Offers $10 Million in Grants to Protect Puget Sound

Funding will help local tribes and government agencies turn plans into action

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced it is now accepting project proposals for $10 million in grant dollars targeted specifically to protect and restore Puget Sound watersheds.

Tribes, local governments and special purpose districts are eligible for this round of funding. Proposals must be submitted by Jan. 5, 2010.

According to Michelle Pirzadeh, acting U.S. EPA regional administrator in Seattle, this infusion of funding will help local tribes and government agencies turn their plans into action.

“Puget Sound needs our help,” Pirzadeh said. “This funding will go directly to our local and tribal partners who are on the front lines of protecting and restoring Puget Sound. These dollars come at a critical time when budgets are stretched thin and help is needed to recover the sound by 2020.”

The U.S. EPA is now soliciting proposals that will help local and tribal governments implement the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda. The U.S. EPA is asking for proposals that integrate land use decisions and watershed protection efforts and projects that help meet the U.S. EPA’s goals for Puget Sound, which include improving shellfish growing areas, cleaning up contaminated sediments and controlling upstream sources of contamination and restoring and protecting estuarine wetlands.

Approximately 15 awards will be made, ranging from about $300,000 to $1 million. The U.S. EPA is holding a workshop to answer questions about the solicitation and grant program criteria on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at the U.S. EPA’s downtown Seattle office.

State and federal agencies, universities, watershed councils, salmon recovery lead entities and non-government entities are not eligible for this solicitation; but they are encouraged to participate by partnering and collaborating with the eligible entities mentioned above.

Additional solicitations for Puget Sound federal funding are expected in the near future.