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Puget Sound

Puget Sound Grants Issued 2010-2015

For reference purposes, this page contains information about past EPA funding for Puget Sound. For current funding information, visit funding and grants for Puget Sound.

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Summary

Between 2010 and 2015, the EPA provided 52 grants directly to local partners for Puget Sound recovery and restoration. These grants, listed below, addressed specific needs to implement Washington's Puget Sound Action Agenda and were typically funded for three or more years.

Note: The numbers listed from 1 to 52 are only for reference purposes on this web page. They do not refer to, nor are they linked with, a more complex numbering system in EPA's grants recordkeeping system.

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Watershed Management Assistance Program Grants

1) Comprehensive Watershed Plan for Sustainable Development and Restoration of the Gorst Creek Watershed

Amount: $659,477
Matching funds: $220,292
Grantee: City of Bremerton
Project description: Gorst Creek is primarily an undeveloped watershed with a small, but centrally situated, near-stream corridor of high-density commercial development. Protection of salmon and shellfish resources in Sinclair Inlet is a regional goal. A comprehensive watershed plan for sustainable development and restoration of the Gorst Creek Watershed was produced. Stormwater modeling work successfully used EPA's SUSTAIN software.
Outcomes: Land and Water Quality Protection, Stormwater Routing and Riparian Habitat Restoration Plans

2) Snohomish Basin Watershed Characterization and Protection

Amount: $630,803
Matching funds: $238,287
Grantee: Snohomish County Public Works
Project description: The Snohomish Basin is a major drainage area in Puget Sound. Land use development pressures and climate change scenarios are expected to overwhelm the long-term viability of fish populations, farms and forests. Snohomish County, King County, and the Tulalip Tribes developed a protection strategy to address these challenges.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration

3) Monitoring of Aquatic and Riverine Habitats in Lake Washington and the Cedar-Sammamish Watershed

Amount: $995,716
Matching funds: $335,933
Grantee: King County
Project description: King County monitored fifty stream reaches and ten EPA "sentinel sites" in the Cedar-Sammamish basin to track watershed conditions. Note: Sentinel sites are aquatic condition monitoring areas that are used  to detect trends in ecological condition over time. Similar to "reference sites," sentinel sites have a low level of human disturbance and are considered to be in the best condition for that type of aquatic resource (streams, lakes, or wetlands).
Outcomes: Riparian and Aquatic Habitat Protection

4) Skagit County Alternative Futures Project

Amount: $815,500
Matching funds: $272,000
Grantee: Skagit County
Project description: To sustain natural resource lands and industries, and accommodate population growth, Skagit County and its partners developed a 50-year plan for future land and water use management.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Estuary/ Floodplain Habitat Restoration

5) Piper's Creek Flow Control Plan

Amount: $850,904
Matching funds: $450,000
Grantee: Seattle Public Utilities
Project description: Seattle Public Utilities established a stormwater flow control plan for the Piper's Creek watershed using hydrologic modeling and green stormwater infrastructure techniques.
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Hydrological Protection/ Restoration

6) Managing Growth in Island Communities

Amount: $696,184
Matching funds: $358,212
Grantee: San Juan County
Project description: The San Juan Islands have one of Sentinel sites are aquatic condition monitoring areas that are used  to detect trends in ecological condition over time. Similar to ‘reference sites’, sentinel sites have a low level of human disturbance and are considered to be in the best condition for that type of aquatic resource (streams, lakes, or wetlands).Sentinel sites are aquatic condition monitoring areas that are used  to detect trends in ecological condition over time. Similar to ‘reference sites’, sentinel sites have a low level of human disturbance and are considered to be in the best condition for that type of aquatic resource (streams, lakes, or wetlands).Sentinel sites are aquatic condition monitoring areas that are used  to detect trends in ecological condition over time. Similar to ‘reference sites’, sentinel sites have a low level of human disturbance and are considered to be in the best condition for that type of aquatic resource (streams, lakes, or wetlands). the most rapid growth rates in the state. This project improved San Juan County’s capacity to manage growth sustainably and established a regional forum to help share information on how to protect island communities as they grow.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection, Hydrological Protection

7) Watershed Characterization - From Best Available Science to Local Policy and Implementation

Amount: $885,641
Matching funds: $416,590
Grantee: Thurston County
Project description: Thurston County coordinated with the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, Rainier and Yelm to implement watershed-based land-use plans and regulations. This project involved stakeholders, the scientific community and policy makers working at a watershed scale to accommodate projected growth while protecting aquatic ecosystem processes.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration, Hydrological Protection

8) Budd to Henderson Inlets Coastal Conservation Initiative

Amount: $1,000,000
Matching funds: $350,000
Grantee: Squaxin Island Tribe
Project description: Project description: The Squaxin Island Tribe and its partners assessed expansion of the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area. They acquired and protected 150 acres of habitat upstream of Gull Harbor, entered into a purchase and sale agreement for an additional 73 acres on Little Fishtrap estuary, and facilitated removal of a dam which was a fish-passage barrier to enhance salmon spawning habitat.
Outcomes: Estuary/ Floodplain Habitat Restoration, Shoreline Protection

9) Enhanced Shoreline Protection - A Proposal for Measuring and Achieving 'No net loss' of Ecological Functions

Amount: $999,915
Matching funds: $330,000
Grantee: Clallam County
Project description: Clallam County updated its Shoreline Master Program, requiring development of policies and regulations to achieve a 'no net loss' goal of shoreline ecological functions. The county created a framework to assess development impacts using ecological indicators. This yielded information for shoreline management strategies and better permitting.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection

10) County to City Transfer of Development Rights from Nearshore and Upland Habitats in Puget Sound Watersheds

Amount: $1,000,000
Matching funds: $330,000
Grantee: King County
Project description: King and Pierce Counties provided models to show how local governments around Puget Sound can use the Transfer of Development Rights tool to protect natural resources in a cost effective manner.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection

11) Protecting Puget Sound Watersheds from Agricultural Runoff Using a Progressive Manure Applications Risk Management System

Amount: $710,887
Matching funds: $237,563
Grantee: Whatcom Conservation District
Project description:  The Whatcom Conservation District in partnership with dairy farmers and others developed a Manure Application Risk Management system. By evaluating pollution risks and improving manure application procedures, the system was designed to reduce agricultural runoff containing harmful pollution from reaching groundwater, surface water, salmon bearing rivers and shellfish beds. 
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Shellfish Bed Recertification

12) Birch Bay Characterization and Watershed Planning Pilot - Taking Action

Amount: $772,570
Matching funds: $260,127
Grantee: Whatcom Conservation District
Project description: The Whatcom Conservation District implemented watershed management recommendations to rural and urban areas to reduce impacts from land use practices on shellfish beds. This encourages residents to adopt stewardship practices, use low impact development and agricultural best management practices and participate in restoration projects. It also calculated specific stormwater flow volumes to be incorporated with present and future watershed protection goals.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Estuary/ Floodplain Habitat Restoration, Hydrological Protection

13) Developing a Stormwater Retrofit Plan for Water Resources Inventory Area #9/Estimation of Costs for Retrofitting all Development Lands of Puget Sound

Amount: $999,981
Matching funds: $333,786
Grantee: King County
Project description: King County developed a cost estimate and prioritization plan for implementing stormwater best management practices using low-impact development techniques. In-stream flow and water quality goals were developed. Stormwater retrofit measures were optimized to meet water quality at minimum costs.
Outcomes: Hydrological Protection, Land Protection, Water Quality, Protection & Restoration

14) Biological Recovery of the Goldsborough Creek Watershed (Oakland Bay)

Amount: $975,000
Matching funds: $322,500
Grantee: Squaxin Island Tribe
Project description: The Squaxin Island Tribe and its partners improved riparian and instream habitat, sediment transport and instream flow conditions in the Goldsborough Creek basin. The Tribe worked with Oakland Bay area landowners to improve estuary habitat while maintaining the waterfront’s working nature in and around the Port of Shelton. The long-term goal is to increase annual Coho salmon smolt out-migration up to 15% by 2020. Over 39 acres of land on Goldsborough Creek were purchased, protecting spawning habitat.  Oakland Bay was conditionally approved for shellfish consumption, and record numbers of coho smolt left Goldsborough Creek following protection and improvement projects completed under this grant.
Outcomes: Estuary Habitat Restoration, Shoreline Protection, Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration, Hydrological Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration

15) Regional TDR Program: Phase II - Establishing an Incentive for City Participation

Amount: $1,000,000
Matching funds: $333,000
Grantee: Puget Sound Regional Council
Project description: Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) is a market-based conservation tool. It enables voluntarily shifts in development plans away from those places communities want to conserve and protect, to places where growth is more suitable and appropriate. The Council and its partners leveraged ongoing, regional TDR development and implementation programs to increase the number of cities using TDR programs.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection

16) Kitsap County Health District's Shellfish Restoration and Protection Project

Amount: $668,034
Matching funds: $329,032
Grantee: Kitsap County Health District
Project description:  Kitsap Health and its partners identified and corrected sources of fecal pollution to improve water quality and restore shellfish areas. Results included: Implementing a shoreline monitoring program; Evaluating land use patterns; Educating landowners about pollution and sustainable land use; Providing homeowners with no-interest septic system repair loan programs; Correcting failing on-site sewage systems; and, Establishing a community shellfish farm.
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Shellfish Bed Recertification

17) Clean Water District Activities in Jefferson and Clallam Counties

Amount: $1,000,000
Matching funds: $330,000
Grantee: Jefferson County Public Health Department
Project description: Shellfish beds were closed or threatened to be closed to harvesting due to bacterial pollution from failing on-site septic systems and unmanaged runoff from agricultural uses. Jefferson County Public Health addressed contaminant sources by: Improved the operations and monitoring of on-site sewage treatment systems; Implemented a low cost septic system repair or replacement loan program; and, Improving agricultural waste management practices.
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Shellfish Bed Recertification

18) Pierce County Shellfish Watersheds Project

Amount: $751,211
Matching funds: $567,000
Grantee: Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health Department
Project description: The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department took a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to prevent threats to water quality in Pierce County. They focused on shellfish areas most at risk to periodic or long-term harvest restrictions (classification downgrades).
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Shellfish Bed Recertification

19) Clean Samish Initiative Implementation: Samish Bay Watershed Pollution Identification and Correction Program

Amount: $961,980
Matching funds: $443,793
Grantee: Skagit County Public Works
Project description: Samish Bay’s commercial shellfish growing areas have had significant harvest restrictions due to high fecal coliform bacteria levels. Expanding upon the Clean Samish Initiative's work, Skagit County identified and fixed sources of fecal coliform inputs. An outreach and monitoring program connected landowners with stewardship resources and increased watershed residents' awareness.
Outcomes: Water Quality Protection & Restoration, Shellfish Bed Recertification

20) Incentivizing Low Impact Shoreline Development: Developing and Piloting Green Shores for Homes on the City of Seattle's Lake Washington Shorelines and in San Juan County

Amount: $584,122
Matching funds: $193,146
Grantee: City of Seattle
Project description: The City of Seattle, with San Juan County and Washington Sea Grant, tested a program to improve ecosystem functions and processes along shorelines of single-family waterfront homes.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection

21) Kitsap Regional Shoreline Restoration Project

Amount: $763,200
Matching funds: $254,400
Grantee: Kitsap County
Project description: Eighty-two percent of Kitsap County’s shoreline is developed. Individual and cumulative development impacts can degrade ecological processes. Kitsap County worked with landowners to remove bulkheads which restored natural sediment supplies to priority nearshore areas.
Outcomes: Shoreline/ Nearshore Restoration

22) Protection and Enhancement of Riparian Buffers in Water Resources Inventory Area #7

Amount: $651,555
Matching funds: $311,188
Grantee: King County
Project description: Japanese knotweeds are invasive in the Snoqualmie/Skykomish watershed. Their proliferation threatens water quality and habitat diversity by spreading rapidly and out-competing native riparian buffer vegetation. King County and its partners worked to remove knotweed infestations and re-plant native vegetation.
Outcomes: Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration

23) Community Partnership for Riparian Restoration on the Lower Cedar River

Amount: $902,455
Matching funds: $298,000
Grantee: Seattle Public Utilities
Project description: Seattle Public Utilities established a partnership among a variety of entities to restore riparian ecosystems on both public and private property in the lower Cedar River. The project encouraged landowner participation in activities that contributed to riparian restoration, such as eradicating invasive plants and replanting of native vegetation.
Outcomes: Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration

24) Watershed Stewardship Resource Center

Amount: $533,761
Matching funds: $266,885
Grantee: Jefferson County Department of Community Development
Project description: Jefferson County created a Watershed Stewardship Resource Center to guide property owners and developers to use sustainable development practices. Designed as an optional 'one stop shop', the center seeks to incorporate low impact development principals and tools with stormwater management, shoreline, critical area, and other environmental protection needs.
Outcomes: Land Protection, Shoreline Protection, Riparian /Aquatic Habitat Protection & Restoration, Hydrological Protection, Water Quality Protection & Restoration

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Tribal Implementation Assistance Grants

25) Red Creek - Reach 6 Hydro-Geomorphic Restoration

Amount: $598,618
Grantee: Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
Project description: This project replaced two fish passage barriers in the Red Creek sub-basin. These barriers were affecting upstream salmon migration to high-quality habitat spawning areas. The project restored natural hydro-geomorphic processes linked to successful, downstream floodplain restoration activities.
Outcomes: Aquatic habitat restoration

26) Samish River Invasive Knotweed Control Project and Riparian Restoration

Amount: $449,961
Grantee: Samish Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources
Project description: The Samish River is a salmonid system with invasive Japanese Knotweed infestations. Small scale control efforts have been undertaken but no coordinated, systematic control efforts existed. This project designed and implemented a multi-agency and multi-year coordinated control program.
Outcomes: Riparian restoration

27) Ediz Hook Restoration - Phase III, Port Angeles Harbor - Strait of Juan de Fuca

Amount: $581,260
Grantee: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Natural Resources Department
Project description: The southern shoreline of Ediz Hook is a natural but degraded, three-mile spit on the Strait of Juan de Fuca protecting the Port Angeles harbor. Phase III of Ediz Hook recovery goals restored natural environmental processes along 1,200 feet of Ediz Hook shoreline.
Outcomes: Shoreline and nearshore habitat restoration

28) Monitoring and Adaptive Management of the Nisqually Delta Tidal Marsh Restoration: Restoring Ecosystem Function for Salmon

Amount: $600,000
Grantee: Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department
Project description: Past and current activities at the Nisqually River's delta represent the largest tidal marsh restoration project in Puget Sound. It's unknown how the delta and its biota will respond to restoration of natural tidal processes where large land tracts, formerly behind legacy diking, are now inundated with daily tides. This grant funded research by the Nisqually Tribe and the U.S.. Geological Survey to assess the effectiveness of delta recovery projects that restore estuarine processes, habitats, and the capacity to support Chinook salmon lifecycles.
Outcomes: Estuary habitat restoration monitoring

29) Fall City Park Riparian Restoration and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Project

Amount: $251,520
Grantee: Snoqualmie Tribe Environmental and Natural Resources Department
Project description: Fall City Park restoration helped the Snoqualmie Tribe complete earlier work in the park. The riparian buffer at Fall City Park was infested with the non-native plants. Critical ecosystem processes were impaired because of the magnitude of the invasion, which occurs in a reach of the Snoqualmie River known for high-quality Chinook salmon and steelhead habitat.
Outcomes: Riparian restoration

30) Innovative Planning, Design and Regulatory Approaches to Protect Water Resources in Quilceda Creek

Amount: $550,000
Grantee: Tulalip Tribes of Washington Natural Resources Department
Project description: To meet demand for future development, the Tulalip Tribes employed 'Smart Growth' concepts and Low Impact Development (LID) to protect habitat resources in the Quilceda Creek corridor. This project used landscape analysis and community outreach to develop guidelines and incentives for permit and regulatory components of an updated Tribal Development Code. They explored options for managing onsite septic systems in a high groundwater table areas to close an existing regulatory gap.
Outcomes: Local watershed protection; water quality protection

31) Assessment of Marine and Floodplain Riparian Vegetation in the Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca

Amount: $205,592
Grantee: Point No Point Treaty Council
Project description: An air photo assessment of riparian conditions along marine shorelines, major river corridors and floodplains of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hood Canal sub-basins was conducted. Riparian maps and new datasets informed tribes and local government in updating their Shoreline Master Programs and Critical Area Ordinances. The work refined salmon and nearshore habitat protection and landowner stewardship priorities. The datasets also provided a baseline from which trends in riparian conditions can be measured.
Outcomes: Shoreline protection; riparian protection; floodplain protection

32) Protecting and Restoring Waters Important to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

Amount: $600,000
Grantee: Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Project description: Channel restoration was required to restore the Lower Dungeness floodplain's ecological functions. Protective dikes were moved away from nearshore areas and large woody debris was re-established in the upper watershed. 28.5 acres of floodplain forest bordering a quarter mile of the river channel were purchased. Tidally influenced hydrology and habitat connectivity was restored in an important estuary. The extent of macro-algae blooms was assessed to understand natural and human-induced conditions contributing to these conditions.
Outcomes: Aquatic and floodplain restoration; nearshore water quality protection

33) Reducing Effective Impervious Surface in a Small Urban Catchment using Low Impact Development Practices

Amount: $554,362
Grantee: Puyallup Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department
Project description: Six species of salmon use Clarks Creek as spawning and rearing habitat. Many other native fish species  also use the creek for their habitat needs. Sediment volumes exceeding the creek's natural sediment transport capacity interfere with natural fish production potential. The Puyallup Tribe reduced sediment, nutrient and bacteria loading to Clarks Creek and its tributaries by reducing the effective impervious area in the watershed using low impact development tools and measures to target specific pollution sources.
Outcomes: Watershed protection

34) Suquamish Tribe, Chico Creek Estuary Restoration Project

Amount: $600,000
Grantee: Suquamish Tribe Fisheries Department
Project description:  Fish passage blockages were removed, 2.3 acres of salt marsh and 1.1 acres of nearshore uplands were conserved and 1.1 acres of estuarine and riparian habitat were restored. Stream hydraulic functions and habitat conditions were improved,  stormwater runoff to the estuary from contaminant-laden impervious surfaces was reduced and water quality protections for a shellfish growing area in Chico Bay were improved.
Outcomes: Estuary restoration

35) Peak Flows and Chinook Survival in the Stillaguamish Watershed: Modeling the Relative Importance of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors and Prioritizing Restoration and Protection Actions Utilizing a Parcel-Based GIS Framework

Amount: $335,011
Grantee: Stillaguamish Tribe Natural Resources Department
Project description: Flow mechanisms causing Chinook salmon mortality were investigated and natural climate induced peak flows were differentiated from peak flows caused by anthropogenic factors. A parcel based prioritization framework for ongoing restoration and protection actions in the North and South Fork of the Stillaguamish River was developed.
Outcomes: Hydrological protection and restoration

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Scientific Studies and Technical Investigations Assistance Grants

36) Channel Migration Assessments: Providing Puget Sound Communities with Information and Technical Assistance for Shoreline Master Programs, Floodplain Management, and Riparian Protection and  Restoration Strategies

Amount: $564,139
Grantee: Washington Department of Ecology
Project description: Channel migration zones (CMZs) and floodplains are ecologically productive areas heavily impacted by development actions. CMZ mapping was conducted to improve the understanding of how the locations of these zones help communities assess risks to human development and critical habitat. CMZ migration zone mapping methodologies were developed and maps for local community trend analysis were produced. Restoration and protection strategies were proposed.
Outcomes: Identification and mapping of channel migration zones important for riparian and floodplain protection goals.

37) Wetlands Change Analysis - Tracking 'No Net Loss' of Wetlands

Amount: $253,403
Grantee: Washington Department of Ecology
Project description: Wetlands are a critical resource in maintaining water quality in Puget Sound and providing wildlife habitat. Static losses and gains in wetland acreage across the Puget Sound basin were determined. Existing methods to collected data and satellite imagery dating back to 1985 were applied to create a status and trends analysis. A complementary project assessed the feasibility of developing a method to classify wetlands using low-level aerial photography.
Outcomes: Filling data gaps related to filled or altered wetlands.

38) Enhancement and Standardization of Benthic Macro-invertebrate Monitoring and Analysis Tools for the Puget Sound Region

Amount: $699,983
Grantee: King County Parks and Recreation
Project description: Aquatic macro-invertebrates (snails, worms and insects) are important indicators of stream health in Puget Sound watersheds. Many regional agencies and local entities use macro-invertebrate data, but inconsistencies in data collection and lack of common analytical tools prevented comprehensive knowledge sharing at region-wide scale. Standardized monitoring tools to consistently collect and interpret macro-invertebrate data in Puget Sound basins with multi-jurisdictional settings were developed.
Outcomes: Alignment and clarification of protocols will have broad benefits to enhance the utility of macro-invertebrate data.

39) Evaluating the Ecological Health of Puget Sound’s Pelagic Foodweb

Amount: $649,738
Grantee: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Project description: Organisms like phytoplankton, small fish and jellyfish are an important indicator of the condition the Puget Sound pelagic food web. Sampling across various Puget Sound sub-basins helped evaluate different food web conditions,  to determine appropriate biological metrics for monitoring ecosystem health. An improved understanding of the pelagic ecosystem coupled with identifying how humans influence these systems led to better priority ranking of restoration projects.
Outcomes: Builds greater research, datasets, and models for knowledge of the Puget Sound foodweb.

40) Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers and Chinook Salmon Health

Amount: $314,180
Grantee: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Project description: Chinook salmon are an important cultural resource and a critical species in the Puget Sound's food web. Fish accumulate polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) - industrial origin contaminants - in their tissues. Limited information existed on adverse biological effects from PBDEs in salmon and other native fish. This grant funded a study to expose healthy, adult Chinook salmon to PBDE levels typically found in Puget Sound streams. The work was oriented to develop more protective standards for aquatic life to reduce PDBE levels in our local environments.
Outcomes: An improved understanding of the effects of PDBEs on adult Chinook spawners.

41) Modeling Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Loading Reduction Scenarios for the Lake Washington Watershed

Amount: $698,647
Grantee: King County
Project description: Fish tissue analysis for Puget Sound and Lake Washington indicated that persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs) are present at hazardous levels, prompting local fish consumption advisories. This project prioritized PBT pathways from episodic sewer overflows, routine stormwater facility and road runoff, river inputs and air-shed depositions to the Lake Washington watershed and Puget Sound via the Chittenden Locks. Sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) - both are industrial contaminants - were sorted from existing and new data collected by this project. This helped ongoing management of PBT pathways by identifying major sources of PCB and PBDE pollution to reestablish safer (non-hazardous) levels of PBTs in edible fish stocks.
Outcomes: Lake Washington PBT loading budget; Clarified contributions from sewer overflows, stormwater facilities, road runoff and air-shed deposition. A modeling framework adaptable for other toxic loadings analyses.

42) Puget Sound Circulation and Dissolved Oxygen Model 2.0: Human Contributions and Climate Influences

Amount: $699,827
Grantee: Washington Department of Ecology
Project description: Several sub-basins in Puget Sound experience low dissolved oxygen levels that do not meet state water quality standards established to protect aquatic life. Improving water quality in these areas while accommodating population growth and anticipating climate change is challenging and requires special tools. Analytical tools to improve the understanding of Puget Sound-wide circulation and dissolved oxygen scenarios were developed. This enabled identification and quantification of potential impacts and protective strategies for in-stream resource management goals.
Outcomes: Web-based communication and detailed reports used to share findings with interested audiences.

43) Restoring Shellfish Harvest to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord/Chambers Creek Prohibited Area

Amount: $676,309
Grantee: Washington Department of Health
Project description: The potential to re-open shellfish harvesting in Pierce County from south of Joint Base Lewis-McChord to north of Chambers Creek was studied. Historically, this area has been closed to shellfish harvest due to numerous sewage outfalls. Many of these point sources of pollution have been eliminated over several and local wastewater facilities are evaluating options for additional, future upgrading. A shellfish resource evaluation was conducted including both a pollution source and human health assessment. Related field studies documented other environmental conditions. Results were: wastewater treatment plant upgrade needs; gradually improving local water quality conditions; and, anticipated increase in access to shellfish for recreational, commercial and tribal harvests as soon as water quality samples justify recertification.
Outcomes: Addressed the water quality recertification process to re-open shellfish harvest areas.

44) Transport and Fate of Nutrient and Pathogen Loadings into Nearshore Puget Sound: Consequences for Shellfish Growing Areas

Amount: $606,718
Grantee: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Project description: An assessment of shellfish growing area vulnerability to closures caused by both watershed-based and marine-derived pathogens was developed. Using data and models, projected impacts of alternative watershed management strategies, nearshore protection practices, and climate change on the vulnerability of three important shellfish growing areas were examined. Shellfish growers and managers were provided with a means to classify the vulnerability of shellfish growing areas based on future land management scenarios. This led to development of pro-active strategies to improve water quality and sustain shellfish harvest volumes.
Outcomes: Addresses the water quality recertification process for shellfish harvest.

45) Effect of Forestry on Headwater Streams in Erodible Lithology

Amount: $699,827
Grantee: Washington Department of Ecology
Project description: Historical application of the Washington's forestry rules were studied to determine if they are effectively preventing degradation of water quality and habitat in the headwaters of Puget Sound watersheds. Findings were paired with ongoing companion studies.
Outcome: Studies and assessments creating a scientific foundation to support formal regulatory review of state-level forest practices rules applied in vulnerable and valuable headwater areas.

46) Building a Puget Sound Wide, Community Watershed Database and Analysis System to Facilitate Science-Based Resource Management and Restoration

Amount: $286,723
Grantee: Earth Systems Institute
Project description: Development of a comprehensive set of analytical tools and information databases across the basin to address floodplain management, erosion mitigation, riparian protection strategies, aquatic habitat restoration and areas potentially sensitive to climate change scenarios. A region-wide system of stakeholder supported watershed databases was already developed, but only for large federal land holdings at higher elevations in Western Washington. This project closed a regional information gap.
Outcomes: An expanded data base that includes non-federal lands at lower elevations and new tools to evaluate and assess floodplain and estuarine management strategies and future scenarios.

47) Integrated Modeling and Decision-Support System for Water Management in the Puget Sound Basin

Amount: $573,025
Grantee: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Project description:  Stormwater runoff, flood events and high water temperatures are all stressors on salmon. Better management of these influences or factors are priorities in Puget Sound watersheds and estuaries. Addressing these challenges depend on accurate estimates of freshwater flows and water temperatures delivered from snow pack melting and precipitation at higher elevations. This project created an integrated decision support system for the Snohomish River Basin to improve information on river flow volumes and temperatures across different climate and land development scenarios. Accurate modeling of flow and temperature in watersheds and estuaries provided improved tools for stormwater management, with the addition of other water quality parameters and included analysis of toxic contaminants concentrations and their movement in the basin.
Outcomes: Improved knowledge of hydrologic and water quality impacts on salmon based on future climatic predictions, to inform growth management planning.

48) Vulnerability and Resilience of Coastal Estuaries

Amount: $675,000
Grantee: The Nature Conservancy
Project description: This project focused on restoring river deltas and estuaries Sound-wide. Currently, estuarine species are declining due to altered ecological processes and habitat loss. Restoration efforts have been limited due to existing land use priorities and the costs of restoring these areas as important coastal habitats. This project built both technical capacity and community support for large scale restoration projects in seven estuary systems: Nooksack, Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Nisqually, Skokomish and Elwha. A mix of habitat restoration strategies including the protection of existing land use was conducted in these estuaries. Estuary protection and restoration approaches were discussed and evaluated with local communities and land owners.
Outcomes: Mapped vulnerability portfolios for deltas and their estuaries at a scale useful to local planners.

49) Phase I: Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project Selection and Design

Amount: $426,597
Grantee: United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Project description: Many characteristics of Puget Sound depend upon the 'nearshore zone', identified as encompassing the shallow waters of estuarine deltas to the outer marine shorelines, the tops of coastal bluffs to water depths where light no longer supports plant growth and up coastal rivers and streams to the limits of tidal influence. This project and its general investigation focused on nearshore zones. Preliminary design and cost estimates for up to 45 restoration projects in nearshore zones were provided. 
Outcomes: Significant ecosystem problems were identified, large-scale and system-wide solutions were evaluated to restore critical nearshore processes and habitats, including bluffs, beaches, shorelines, mudflats, salt marshes, gravel spits and estuaries.

50) Evaluation of Restoration Strategies for Threatened Salmonids in the Elwha River: Phase I

Amount: $645,878
Grantee: United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Services
Project description: The Elwha River Restoration Project is the largest single restoration action planned for the Puget Sound region to date. Removal of two tall dams that were obstructing salmonid migration to pristine habitat was completed in 2012. Large sediment volumes accumulated behind both dams eroded from the former reservoirs as expected. These sediments entered the river and created downstream impacts on freshwater, estuarine and nearshore and deep marine ecosystems. The study's data was used to manage the restoration project with respect to these impacts. An improved understanding of impacts from large-scale dam removal on downstream ecosystems was gained.
Outcomes: High quality information-based outputs informed monitoring design for an unprecedented, high volume of sediment moving through a braided river delta and estuary system.

51) Evaluation of Restoration Strategies for Threatened Salmonids in the Elwha River: Phase II

Amount: $875,163
Grantee: United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Services
Project description: Building on the outcomes of Phase I, above, this study will provide data until 2017 for adaptive manage decisions given expected, ongoing sediment erosion and delivery to estuarine and deep marine zones. New understanding of impacts from large-scale dam removal on downstream ecosystems will help in evaluating long term project benefits.
Outcomes: High quality information-based outputs will inform management decisions for cases where high volumes of sediment move through braided river delta and estuary systems.

52) Puget Sound Estuary Program: A Scientific Study of the Effects of PBDEs on Chinook Salmon 

Amount: $643,177
Grantees: WA Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service 
Project description: An approach for identifying ecosystem protection and restoration targets that consider social perspectives was developed. A set of critical ecosystem attributes were identified and a food web model to examine potential changes as a result of simulations on nearshore habitat and water quality was used. A social norm analysis asked stakeholders to rate the desirability of a range of potential ecosystem conditions.
Outcome: A blending of ecological and social sciences to support management targets and goals that are responsive to social input and values.

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