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Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) Grant

Grants to Washington Agencies to Protect
and Restore Waterfronts and Aquatic Lands

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Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office

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Grants to Washington governmental and tribal agencies for the protection and enhancement of aquatic lands, including shore lands, harbor areas, tidelands, and beds of navigable waters. Funding may be used for the improvement, protection or acquisition of qualifying aquatic lands for public purposes. Funding may also be used to provide or improve public access to the waterfront.

The ALEA program is targeted at re-establishing the natural, self-sustaining ecological functions of the waterfront, providing or restoring public access to the water, and increasing public awareness of aquatic lands as a finite natural resource and irreplaceable public heritage.

Typical Projects:
-Removing bulkheads to restore natural beach functions
-Restoring an estuary
-Replacing a waterfront boardwalk
-Restoring shoreline for salmon habitat
-Developing a waterfront park

Eligible Projects:

Acquisition includes the purchase of aquatic lands or uplands in fee title, or lesser interests such as leases, conservation easements, or access easements. Acquisition must result in an opportunity for reasonable public access.

Restoration (Improvement):
Restoration means to return damaged or altered aquatic lands or uplands to a condition that could be reasonably expected to substantially improve ecological conditions. Restoration projects may include replanting native vegetation, altering or removing structures, and other activities that can be reasonably expected to result in a site that is self-sustaining; that is, the site will not require continual intervention to function as a predominantly natural ecosystem. Restoration projects must allow or provide public access to aquatic lands. Restoration projects with interpretive or educational elements are strongly encouraged.

Development means to improve, renovate, or provide new structures or facilities that support public access to aquatic lands and waters for water-dependent activities. Development projects including interpretive or educational features are strongly encouraged.

Examples of eligible development projects include:
-Fishing piers and platforms
-Interpretive signs, kiosks
-Launch and moorage facilities for small boats
-Non-motorized paths, trails, ramps, stairs
-Open-water swim areas
-Parking lots and entry drives or entry roads
-Restrooms, benches, tables
-Viewpoints, platforms, blinds for observing wildlife
-Site restoration

Long-term Commitment

Property acquired, developed, or renovated with ALEA grants must be kept for public outdoor recreation use forever. Other commitments include ensuring proper maintenance, facilitating audits, providing for nondiscrimination, etc. Further information can be found in Manual 7, Long-term Obligations.

Navigable Waters:

ALEA projects must be associated with navigable waters of the state as defined by Washington Administrative Code 332-30-106, Revised Code of Washington 79.105, and Article 17 of the State Constitution.

All marine waters are, by definition, navigable, as are portions of rivers influenced by tides.
Navigable rivers and lakes are those determined by the judiciary, those bounded by meander lines, or those that could have been used for commerce at the time of statehood. The Department of Natural Resources assists the Recreation and Conservation Office in determining if a water body is navigable.

Known navigable freshwater bodies in eastern Washington include:
-Calispell Creek
-Liberty Lake
-Rock Lake
-Calispell Lake
-Loon Lake
-Snake River
-Lake Chelan
-Lost Lake
-Spirit Lake
-Cle Elum Lake
-Medical Lake
-Spokane River
-Columbia River
-Methow River (lower)
-Sprague Lake
-Curlew Lake
-Moses Lake
-Waitts Lake
-Deer Lake
-Newman Lake
-Wenatchee Lake
-Diamond Lake
-Okanogan River
-Wenatchee River
-Eloika Lake
-Osoyoos Lake
-West Medical Lake
-Fishtrap Lake
-Pacific Lake
-Yakima River (portions)
-Kachess Lake
-Palmer Lake
-Keechelus Lake
-Pend Oreille River

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 147293

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Caps:
-Acquisition projects: $1 million
-Restoration or improvement projects: $500,000
-Development projects: $500,000
-Combination projects (acquisition and development or restoration): $1 million, of which not more than $500,000 may be for development or restoration costs.

Administrative costs:
-For acquisition projects: 5 percent of the total acquisition. Approval may be sought for greater amounts.
-For development projects: 20 percent of the total project cost. Approval may be sought for greater amounts.
-For Salmon Recovery Funding Board development projects: 30 percent of the total project cost. Approval may be sought for greater amounts.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-Local agencies
-State agencies
-Native American Tribes

The above entities must be authorized legally to acquire and develop public open space, habitat, or recreation facilities.

Ineligible Projects:
-Concessionaire buildings
-Fish or wildlife production facilities
-Indoor facilities such as swimming pools, community centers, museums, interpretive and environmental centers
-Offices, shops, residences, and meeting rooms
-Operating, overhead, or incidental costs
-Routine maintenance costs
-Legally mandated clean-up or costs of required mitigation actions not associated with the approved project.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must provide a minimum 50 percent match for each project. The match may include, but is not limited to:
-Appropriations or cash
-Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
-Federal, state, local, and private grants
-Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials
-For local agencies, at least 10 percent of the total project cost must come from a non-state, non-federal contribution.

-Applications Due: May 1, 2018
-Technical Review: May 30 to June 1, 2018
-Technical Completion Deadline: July 6, 2018
-Project Evaluation: August 20-21, 2018
-Board Meeting – Lists Approved: October 17-18, 2018
-Board Meeting – Grants Awarded: June 2019
-Successful Applicant Workshop: Fall 2019

Application Schedules:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Contact a Grants Manager:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington