Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) - Small Grant Program

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW)

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $30,000 - US $150,000

Next anticipated deadline: Apr 12, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

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

Applicant type: College / University Indigenous Group Government Entity 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

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


Note: The 'Letter of Inquiry' deadline is the deadline to fill out Intent to Submit survey, and request a preapplication sitevisit

Program Overview

The Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) Small Grants Program (SGP) seeks exemplary nearshore ecosystem restoration and protection projects. This program works to engage local communities by bringing together multiple stakeholders and partners seeking local solutions to complex ecosystem and land use problems.

In 2016, ESRP initiated the SGP pilot program to assist ESRP’s mission in restoring the natural processes that create and sustain the Puget Sound nearshore ecosystem. The pilot was a success and from its efforts, ESRP will continue the SGP for the 2018 Grant Round.

The SGP is jointly administered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). RCO functions as ESRP’s fiscal agent.

We seek projects of local importance that provide significant contributions to regional goals. These projects will focus on nearshore ecosystem restoration or protection of ecosystem functions, goods, and services. Our work is centered on the scientific principles and strategies of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP). The ESRP will dedicate at least $500,000 for the SGP depending on the 2019 -2021 Washington Capital Budget appropriation to ESRP.

Proposed project actions will be evaluated on project costs and benefits. A competitive review of proposals will result in a ranked project list.

Program Objectives

The most competitive Small Grant Program proposals will be those that employ management measures that can most address the source of degradation of these natural processes or that are focused on protection of intact areas.

Successful projects will include one or more of the following management measures:

  • Remove dikes, culverts, and fill to allow water to flow naturally to the nearshore
  • Remove bulkheads from the nearshore
  • Remove or modify piers and docks
  • Create habitat for native plants and animals
  • Remove non-native plants and animals
  • Remove debris and unneeded structures and protect the nearshore from harmful pollutants
  • Protect important nearshore area for plants, animals, fish and people
  • Return native plants and animals to the nearshore
  • Work together to ensure continued understanding and enjoyment of nearshore resources

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 quasi-governmental organizations, and private or public corporations.
  • Eligible project types:
    • Pre-construction planning/design
    • Feasibility and/or Design
    • Construction
    • Restoration
    • Pre and post-construction assessment elements
  • Eligible project sponsors
    • Marine Resources Committees
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Lead entities
    • Tribes
    • RFEGs
    • Special Purpose Districts
    • Counties, cities, and towns
    • State and federal agencies
    • Academic Institutions
  • Project Criteria
    • Project sites/project types within Puget Sound (East of Cape Flattery to the Canadian border) Nearshore.
      • The nearshore zone is the narrow ribbon of land and shallow water that rings Puget Sound.
      • It includes the shoreline bluffs, the tidal portions of streams and rivers, and shallow water areas out to a depth where sunlight no longer supports marine vegetation.
    • Proposed projects must support goals and objectives in the project area’s local Marine Resources Committee (MRC) Strategic Plan or Lead Entity Plan/Lead Integrating Organization.
      • Proposals that fall within a MRC area must support goals and objectives within the MRC Strategic Plan.
        • These project proposals must include the Strategic Plan Review Form from by the MRC in your geographic area.
      • Proposals that fall within an area without an MRC must support the Lead Entity/Lead Integrating Organization Plan.
        • These project proposals must include the Strategic Plan Review Form by the Lead Entity in your geographic area (see Appendix A).
    • The primary purpose of the project must be to restore or protect Puget Sound nearshore ecosystem processes or functions, and to additionally support strategies that restore or protect ecosystem function of a geographic area such as a Process Unit (delta, drift cell, etc.)
    • Each project is required to include a communication plan as a project deliverable if awarded funding. We expect a straight forward plan ranging from 1-5 pages. (See Appendix C: Other Resources for links to examples of communication plans.)
    • Projects must include one of the following project types: Construction, Design/Feasibility, Restoration, or PreConstruction planning/design.
      • Additional project types may be any listed under “Eligible Project Types.”
  • Projects must provide a match of cash or in-kind services equaling 30% of the award. 


  • Projects with the primary objective of providing recreational access, or remediating chemical contamination are not eligible.
  • Projects that receive 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 are not eligible.
    • Funding 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.