Agency Seeks Proposals for Puget Sound, Has $10 M to Spend

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 27 announced that it is 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. 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. Proposals must be submitted by Jan. 5, 2010.

According to Michelle Pirzadeh, acting 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,” said Pirzadeh. “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 critical time when budgets are stretched thin and help is needed to recover the Sound by 2020.”

EPA is now soliciting proposals that will help local and tribal governments implement the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda. EPA is asking for proposals that integrate land use decisions and watershed protection efforts and projects that help meet EPA’s goals for Puget Sound that include:

  • improving shellfish growing areas;
  • cleaning-up contaminated sediments and controlling up-stream sources of contamination;
  • restoring and protecting estuarine wetlands.

Approximately 15 awards will be made, ranging from about $300,000 to $1 million. EPA is holding a workshop to answer questions about the solicitation and grant program criteria at 1 p.m. on Nov. 16 at EPA’s downtown Seattle office. Additional solicitations for Puget Sound federal funding are expected in the near future.

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