The Yakima Basin Fish & Wildlife Recovery Board coordinates the local process for Washington State’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) annual grant allocation. However, SRFB funding is limited and may not be the best fit for every project.

Below find basic information and links for additional funding sources appropriate for the Yakima Basin. The grant opportunities are organized by type of project: Fish Habitat & Restoration, Habitat Preservation & Conservation, Conservation Incentive Programs, Water Quality, Water Quantity, and Additional Opportunities for Collaboration.

Federal and state partners have come together to develop the Washington Water and Salmon Fund Finder, a search tool that stores natural resource funding opportunities in Washington.

Water and Salmon Fund Finder

Union Creek Falls
Photo credit: J. Cummings

Fish Habitat & Restoration Grants

American Sportfishing Association – FishAmerica Foundation Grant

Funds projects that implement locally-driven habitat restoration projects that emphasize stewardship and yield ecological and socioeconomic benefits. Projects must clearly demonstrate significant benefits to marine, estuarine or anadromous sportfish resources and should involve community participation through an educational or volunteer component tied to the restoration activities.

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation – Bring Back the Natives

This funding opportunity focuses on restoring, protecting, and enhancing native populations of sensitive or listed aquatic species, especially on lands on or adjacent to federal agency lands. The end result is on-the-ground restoration, in-stream improvements, and growing partnerships for the benefit of aquatic systems and their native species in the nation’s watersheds.

NOAA – Open Rivers Initiative

Provides funding and technical assistance to catalyze the implementation of locally-driven projects to remove dams and other river barriers, in order to benefit living marine and coastal resources, particularly diadromous fish. Projects funded through the Open Rivers Initiative must feature strong on-the- ground habitat restoration components that foster economic, educational, and social benefits for citizens and their communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources.

Title II – Special Projects on Federal Land

Funds projects on BLM and US Forest Service land including, but not limited to road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvement; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed restoration and maintenance; restoration, maintenance and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat; control of noxious and exotic weeds; and re-establishment of native species. A portion of Forest Service funds generated through multi-use activities, such as grazing, timber production, and special use permits, are distributed to eligible counties to help maintain local roads and schools.

Trout Unlimited – Home Rivers Initiative

This program is based on the premise that everything in a watershed is related and connected, and that watershed restoration requires far more than site-specific treatments. Each Home Rivers project is a collaborative multi-year effort that combines applied scientific and economic research, community outreach, on-the-ground restoration, and the development of long-term conservation and management strategies and tools.

US Fish & Wildlife Service – Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program

The Partners Program provides technical assistance and funding for projects in all habitat types which conserve or restore native vegetation, hydrology, and soils associated with imperiled ecosystems such as native prairies, forests, marshes, rivers and streams, or otherwise provide important habitat for a rare, declining or protected species. Locally-based field biologists work one-on-one with private landowners, tribes, municipalities and other partners to plan, implement, and monitor their projects.

US Fish & Wildlife Service – Tribal Landowner Incentive Program

Program funds projects involving habitat restoration, environmental assessment, and other efforts to protect federally listed, proposed or candidate species on Tribal lands.

Washington State – Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account

In 1984, the Washington State Legislature created this grant program to ensure that money generated from aquatic lands was used to protect and enhance those lands. Grants may be used for the acquisition, improvement, or protection of aquatic lands for public purposes. They also may be used to provide or improve public access to the waterfront. Aquatic lands are all tidelands, shore lands, harbor areas, and the beds of navigable waters.

Washington State Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board (FBRB)

In 2014, the Washington State Legislature created this grant program to identify and remove impediments to salmon and steelhead migration. The FBRB evaluates fish passage projects and submits a priority project list to the Governor’s office and to the Legislature for consideration of funding.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife / US Fish & Wildlife Service – Fisheries Restoration & Irrigation Mitigation Act (FRIMA)

The statewide FRIMA program provides financial and technical assistance to local partners to correct barriers to fish passage related to irrigation and water diversion projects and facilities. Any state agency, local group or private landowner can apply. Projects must include a local government or Tribal sponsor or co-applicant.

Washington State – Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP)

The Family Forest Fish Passage Program provides funding to small forest landowners to repair or remove fish passage barriers.

Habitat Preservation/Conservation Grants

US Fish & Wildlife Service – Recovery Land Acquisition

Program funds the permanent conservation (acquisition) of land that contributes to the recovery of USFWS-listed species by supporting approved federal recovery plans.

Washington State – Land & Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal funding source that supports states’ efforts to preserve and develop outdoor recreation resources, including parks, trails, and wildlife lands. Washington’s LWCF programs are implemented by the Recreation and Conservation Office.

Washington State – Washington Wildlife Recreation Program

Provides funding for a broad range of land protection and outdoor recreation, including park acquisition and development, habitat conservation, farmland preservation, and construction of outdoor recreation facilities.

Conservation Incentive Programs

US Fish & Wildlife Service – Endangered Species Tax Deduction

Farmers and ranchers implementing conservation actions that contribute to the recovery of threatened and endangered species may now be eligible for a tax deduction. The 2008 Farm Bill established a tax deduction for expenditures paid or incurred for the purpose of achieving site-specific management actions recommended in recovery plans for species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

USDA/NRCS – Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

This portion of the federal Farm Bill funds implementation of six core conservation practices designed to improve natural resource conditions.  The six practices are: #1. Crop Rotation; #2. Cover Crop; #3. Nutrient Management; #4. Pest Management; #5. Prescribed Grazing; and #6. Forage Harvest Management Practices currently implemented are not eligible for payment. In addition to the six core practices, there are more than 20 additional practices that can qualify for funding through this initiative in Washington.

USDA/NRCS – Wetlands Reserve Program

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts. The NRCS goal is to achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat, on every acre enrolled in the program. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection.

USDA/WCC – Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program pays landowners a lease fee in exchange for creating and planting fenced riparian buffer areas. These voluntary riparian buffers can not be cropped or grazed, and must be maintained for 10 to 15 years, depending on the lease. In addition to the annual rental payment, the program reimburses the cost of fencing and planting. While not widely used in the Yakima Basin, the program has protected over 13,662 acres along 735 miles of stream in the state. Funding is mostly from the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Administration, with a state cost share provided through the Washington Conservation Commission.

Water Quality Grants

Department of Ecology – Water Quality Combined Funding Program

The Water Quality Combined Funding Program is an integrated funding program for projects that improve and protect water quality throughout the state. The program combines grants and loans from state and federal funding sources. Department of Ecology will also provide technical assistance to program applicants to help them navigate this process.

Water Quantity Grants

Bureau of Reclamation – WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant

The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands.

Title XVI – Water Reclamation and Reuse Program

The program applies to reclamation, recycling, and reuse of municipal, industrial, domestic, and agricultural wastewater and to naturally impaired ground and surface waters. Through this program, Reclamation provides financial and technical assistance for appraisal and feasibility studies, research and demonstration projects, and full-scale construction of facilities to deliver and/or treat wastewater for reuse applications. A water reuse project includes efforts that reclaim and reuses municipal, industrial, domestic, or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired groundwater and/or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation, or recreation.

Non-Profit Water Trusts

Water trusts are private, nonprofit organizations that acquire water rights in order to enhance instream flow for conservation purposes. Recognizing that river habitat and species suffer as a result of the over-allocation of water rights, water trusts rely upon market transactions to acquire and transfer water rights to instream uses. Two water trusts are active in the Yakima Basin: the Washington Water Trust and Trout Unlimited’s Western Water Project.

Both of these groups work closely with the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP), which was started in 2002 to use permanent acquisitions, leases, investments in efficiency and other incentive-based approaches to assist landowners who wish to restore flows to existing habitat.

The CBWTP is managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of fish and wildlife, working in partnership with the Bonneville Power Administration. The majority of funding is provided by BPA.

Additional Opportunities for Collaboration

Yakima Tributary Access & Habitat Program

The Yakima Tributary Access & Habitat Program (YTAHP, “Y-Tap”) was developed in 2001 to provide assistance to landowners in restoring critical salmon habitat by implementing projects that protect, restore, and enhance riparian and floodplain habitat currently or historically used by salmon. Program objectives are to screen irrigation diversions, remove manmade barriers (dams, culverts, etc), restore fish passage, and enhance stream habitat. The YTAHP program is made possible through a collaborative effort between the SCW RC&D Council, local conservation districts, and many other local, state, and federal entities. Projects are voluntary and are designed to serve the best interest of the landowner, salmon, and the community.

Yakama Nation Habitat Programs

The Yakama Nation uses funding from the Bonneville Power Administration and other sources to restore fish and wildlife habitat throughout its ceded lands. There are three programs that have done extensive habitat improvement work on tribal lands and with private landowners and leasees. The Yakama Nation Wildlife Program has done extensive work to restore streams, rivers, wetlands and uplands on the 1.2 million acre reservation. The Yakama Reservation Watersheds Project works in the Toppenish, Satus and Ahtanum watersheds, while the Yakima-Klickitat Fisheries Program Habitat Project focus on habitat restoration and protection projects off-reservation in the Upper Yakima and Naches watersheds.

Wa Department of Ecology
Trout Unlimited
Fish America Foundation
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office
Bureau of Reclamation