Grant for Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund

Rose Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Next anticipated deadline: Mar 2, 2019 5:00pm PST

Later anticipated deadlines: Sep 14, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Preferred: Counties in Washington: King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Thurston County Other eligible locations: Counties in Washington: Island County, King County, Kitsap County, Mason County, Pierce County Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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About the Fund

The Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund was created by a record legal settlement between the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (Soundkeeper) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, and has since been supplemented by several other pollution mitigation payments including SSA Terminals, Whitley Evergreen, Rainier Petroleum Corporation and Louis Dreyfus Company Washington LLC. More recently we received mitigation funds from Cargill, and another record settlement payment from BNSF, which involved Soundkeeper numerous other waterkeepers and the Sierra Club. The Fund’s goal is to mitigate past pollution runoff by supporting community-based efforts to protect or improve the water quality of Puget Sound. Since inception in 2012, over $3 million in grants have been awarded for projects in Puget Sound related to conservation, restoration, citizen science, environmental justice, shoreline access and environmental education.

The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance’s Clean Water Act enforcement program enforces federal water quality laws against serious violators. Lawsuits are brought on behalf of Soundkeeper’s citizen members, each of whom has a legal right to swimmable and fishable waterways. In bringing pollution-related lawsuits, Soundkeeper’s goal is to achieve negotiated settlements that bring polluters into compliance with the law and the permitting system. Settlement funds are then donated to local environmental groups to help them repair damage done to the Sound. The $1.5 million BNSF Balmer Yard settlement which launched the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund is one of the largest ever in a citizen enforcement action involving stormwater discharges. 

Grant Amounts

Grants will be awarded up to a maximum amount of $25,000. In addition to anticipating proposals from larger organizations, we’ve specifically reserved some of the grant funds for smaller grassroots organizations and we encourage proposals from local, volunteer-based groups and environmental justice oriented organizations.

Examples of Allowable Projects and Proposals

Here are some examples of the types of projects that are eligible for funding. These are only examples. A project does not have to cover all of the topics or activities listed.

  • Water quality monitoring and testing including sediment impact analysis, especially if the project also includes an element that uses the data to promote enhanced water quality.
  • Innovative low impact development or green infrastructure projects intended to reduce stormwater pollution or other water quality impacts.
  • Water quality-related policy development and associated public outreach.
  • Public education and environmental education, especially if the project also includes an element that mobilizes community members and/or students around specific actions to protect water quality.
  • Shoreline or riparian restoration and other hands-on stewardship activities.
  • Public access in disadvantaged and urbanized areas, which traditionally have disproportionally less areas dedicated to parks and open spaces.

Most people think of “watershed protection” as restoring river banks and testing water samples. While these are certainly core watershed activities, many other types of projects are also eligible to apply. For example:

  • Advocacy promoting public transit and transit equity help people reduce private automobile use (oil, grease and metals from cars are a major contaminant of urban runoff).
  • Facilitating public access to shorelines fundamentally builds long-term community watershed stewardship.
  • Infrastructure improvements such as rain gardens in disadvantaged communities can lead to significant reductions in stormwater pollution as well as help improve public spaces, and projects with strong community participation elements can help build community cohesion and leadership, and become springboards for other community-driven programs.
  • Opposing poorly-planned development and preserving open space can reduce paved areas, helping to recharge groundwater, and reduce runoff volume and pollution.

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


  • To be eligible for a Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund Grant, the applicant and project must meet the following criteria:
    • Projects Supported: The project must be designed to improve (or prevent degradation of) the water quality of Puget Sound and its watershed. 
      •  Funding is particularly targeted to the following areas:
        • Eastern shore of Puget Sound from Olympia to the Canadian border, including the eastern part of the Salish Sea.
        • Central Sound and Elliott Bay, including the Green Duwamish River watershed and Hamm Creek.
        • The North Central Sound, including Quilceda Creek and Snohomish River Estuary.
        • There are also limited funds for Nooksack River and the Lummi River watershed.
    • Applicant requirements: The applicant must demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed project, including experience in successfully conducting similar or otherwise related work in the past
    • Nonprofit status: The applicant must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity.
      • If you work with a small organization that lacks non-profit status but has a compelling project, the Rose Foundation may be willing to act as your fiscal sponsor for this grant proposal.
    • Environmental Justice: While this is not specifically an environmental justice fund, supporting environmental and social justice is a core organizational value that guides all of our grantmaking.
      • Projects that advance environmental justice as well as water quality will receive preference.
    • Frequency of Applying: Organizations that are funded may re-apply after one year if their evaluation form has been submitted and accepted.
    • Duration of Support: Most grants are for a one year period; however, you do not have to ask for a one year grant. It is permitted to request a shorter or longer grant period if that is what you need.
      • However, even if you are asking for multi-year support, the maximum request cannot exceed $25,000. After three consecutive years of funding, groups must wait two years before reapplying.
  • If work related to Puget Sound is only one part of your group’s work, the group is still eligible to apply, but you should define a specific project that directly focuses on Puget Sound. 
  • Groups of any size are eligible to apply.


  • If your organization has an annual budget of $100,000 or less, we encourage you to apply for a grant of $10,000 or less.


  • The following activities or types of projects will not be funded:
    • Endowment, land acquisition, capital improvement (unless proposed project directly improves water quality) or other similar projects.
    • Grants to individuals.
    • Grants to for-profit businesses.
    • Grants for general operating support.
    • Grants for projects that are not Puget Sound or Salish Sea-related
  • Nonprofits are banned from supporting or opposing any candidate running for elected office, nor may nonprofits support or be affiliated with any political parties. 

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary