Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) Grants - Acquisition and Restoration Projects

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW)

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Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $2,600,000

Next anticipated deadline: Apr 12, 2020 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jul 18, 2020 11:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: College / University Indigenous Group Government Entity For-Profit Business Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Washington: Clallam County, Island County, Jefferson County, King County, Kitsap County Show all

Location of residency: Washington

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Note: Pre-proposals due and register for site visit by the "pre-proposal" deadline above. In-person site visits with members of the ESRP team are not required but highly recommended.

ESRP Nearshore Program Objectives

The Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) is housed within the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and is jointly administered by the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) which functions as ESRP’s fiscal agent. The mission of the ESRP is to restore the natural processes that create and sustain the Puget Sound nearshore ecosystem. We seek exemplary projects of regional importance that either:

  • provide substantial and cost effective nearshore ecosystem restoration or protection of ecosystem functions, goods, and services, or
  • advance learning about cutting-edge ecosystem restoration tactics and strategies for the purpose of increasing efficiency and effectiveness of future restoration.

Our work is centered on the scientific principles and ecosystem restoration strategies developed by the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP).

Protecting and Restoring Nearshore Ecosystem Processes

The nearshore ecosystem of Puget Sound is a dynamic environment strongly shaped by physical and ecological processes. PSNERP guidance suggests that projects designed to protect and restore the ecosystem processes that shape and maintain nearshore structure will result in self-sustaining improvements in ecosystem functions, goods, and services, thereby justifying our capital investments in nearshore ecosystem projects. The broad restoration objectives identified by PSNERP and used by ESRP include:

  • Restore the size and quality of large river delta estuaries and the nearshore processes deltas support.
  • Restore the number and quality of coastal embayments.
  • Restore the size and quality of beaches and bluffs.
  • Increase understanding of natural process restoration in order to improve effectiveness of program actions.

The most competitive ESRP proposals will be those that employ management measures that can most fully addresses the source of degradation of these natural processes or that are focused on protection of intact areas.

Award Amounts

There is no maximum or minimum funding limit for proposed projects. Previous awards have ranged from $25,000 to $2,600,000, with average requests from $200,000 - $400,000. Final award amount and scope may differ from proposed amounts, and will reflect a thorough evaluation of investment plan alternatives, and a project sponsor’s readiness to complete work in the award period.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants may be state, federal, local, or tribal agencies, non-governmental or pseudo-governmental organizations, and private or public corporations.
  • Basic ESRP Eligibility: 
    • Within Puget Sound (East of Cape Flattery)
    • The proposed project need must be identified by PSNERP, a salmon recovery Lead Entity or Marine Resource Committee, and listed in a watershed, current salmon recovery, or nearshore habitat restoration or protection plan.
    • The primary purpose of the project must be to restore or protect Puget Sound nearshore ecosystem processes or functions.
    • ESRP project applications will be entered into PRISM and a record will be generated into Habitat Work Schedule (HWS) and/or the Puget Sound Nearshore Projects Data Site (Nearshore Data Site)
  • ESRP requires that projects provide a match of cash or in-kind services equaling 30% of the total project cost.


  • Projects with the primary objective of providing recreational access, or remediating chemical contamination are not eligible as stand-alone projects;
    • however these activities may be eligible components of larger efforts.
  • Projects awards will not be provided for work that relieves obligatory compensation or mitigation requirements incurred by the sponsor or a third-party, as determined by the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project or WDFW.
    • Funding, however, may be provided for actions associated with compensation or mitigation, if those elements are above and beyond the mitigation requirements and can be easily isolated from the required mitigation activities.