Salmon Recovery Grant Profile

The Salmon Recovery Grant Program funds projects supported by lead entity strategies that:

  • Protect existing, high quality habitats for salmon
  • Restore degraded habitat to increase overall habitat health and biological productivity, and
  • Assess the feasibility of future projects and other salmon related activities

There are 5 basic categories of eligible projects:

  1. Acquisition, which includes the purchase of land, access or other property rights
  2. Restoration projects that assist in the recovery of degraded, damaged, or destroyed habitat conditions
  3. Non-capital projects consisting of assessments, project designs, inventories, and studies that do not directly result in on-the-ground restoration or acquisition projects
  4. Design-only projects that lead to preliminary design (30 percent) or final design
  5. Combination acquisition projects that include different restoration elements or assessments and studies

Projects may include the actual habitat used by salmon and the land and water that support ecosystem functions and processes important to salmon. (Recreation and Conservation Office - Salmon Recovery) The SFRB will closely review if a project clearly links with the goals and subbasin priorities of this strategy. Entities eligible for SRFB funding include:

  • Local agencies
  • State agencies
  • Tribes
  • Private landowners
  • Nonprofits
  • Conservation districts
  • Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups

While grants must be greater than $5,000, there is no grant cap except for design-only projects, which have a $200,000 ceiling.  In all practicality, however, the SRFB allocates a set dollar amount for grants available to each of the eight salmon recovery regional organizations in the state.  Generally, there is a 15% match requirement for all grants with the exception of design-only projects, which are exempt.  Projects satisfying a Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan (RMAP) have a required 35% match for fish passage projects and a 50% match for sediment reduction projects.  Match may consist of cash or appropriations, bonds, donations, grants, and an applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials.

The Salmon Recovery Grant Application Review Process

The review process for Salmon Recovery Grant applications submitted by Project Sponsors begins at the Grays Harbor County Lead Entity level and ends with the Salmon Recovery Board.  For specific information regarding the grant application process, see section 9 of the Chehalis Basin Salmon Habitat Restoration and Preservation Strategy: Section 9


Tips for writing an effective Salmon Recovery Funding Board Project Application  

Know the Program First

Take the time to read carefully the program guidelines covered in the Salmon Recovery Grants Manual, especially Section 2, “Eligible Applicants and Proposals,” and attend a RCO sponsored workshop.

Understand the Lead Entity Strategy for WRIA 22-23

Be able to state how your project idea satisfies a real need within WRIA 22-23.  Read through the Chehalis Basin Salmon Habitat Restoration and Preservation Work Plan and try to focus how your idea relates to the goals, strategies, and especially the actions within your subbasin profile of interest.  You will need to demonstrate in writing a real connection to benefitting salmon recovery through habitat restoration or protection.  

Develop a Solid Proposal

Start out by drafting a project concept that meets a clearly defined need and makes a real impact by using sound science.  Always keep in mind the cumulative impact of the project.

For instance, if you are considering a barrier removal project, find out about downstream and upstream conditions that might reduce the impact of your project.  For example, determine if there are other downstream barriers limiting upstream migration or if conditions above the barrier removal project open enough habitat to justify the expense.  These are important points to get across in your application.

There are a couple of ways to research these issues.  Begin by examining the current literature available about your area in our Library.  You will find many of the “essential” information resources about the subbasin you intend to work in. 

Augment your literature search next by talking to knowledgeable parties.  This may include the assigned WDFW or tribal habitat biologist for your area of interest or the landowner.  Be sure to discuss your project ideas with them and ask their advice.

As you approach the specifics of designing of the project, ensure your approach uses sound science and engineering, if applicable.  Consider details about timetables, permits, and schedule. 

Finally, write out all the steps to completing the project.

Have a Viable Funding Strategy

Funding is always a major concern for every project.  Know the full price of your project by having realistic preliminary costs in hand at the time of preparing the application.  This may require getting some expert advice from experienced project specialists – engineers, habitat biologists, real estate, etc. 

If you are anticipating a match from other sources to complete the project  and you don’t have them secured at the time of the application deadline, be prepared to identify the target source(s) and when it might become available.  Letters of committed or potential financial support are important for every application. If you are looking for approximate costs, check recently funded SRF Board applications similar to your own.  

Establish Strong Partnership

From the project’s outset, build a strong partnership with affected landowners.  Keep them informed about the project design and how it may affect their property.  If other agencies or organizations will play a role in your project, bring them in.

Additional Information

Take the time to look at successfully funded SRF Board applications in the past.  Look at how they structured their application and how they funded them. Complete your application early enough and ask your peers to review and critique it.  They can offer you a fresh set of eyes.  

Grant Opportunities

Below is a list of grants available for salmon recovery work.  Please contact us if you know of other grant opportunities that can be added: