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


Geographic Focus

USA: Washington

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Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) Grant

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #147293

Grant Description

Grants to Washington local, state, and tribal governmental agencies for the protection and enhancement of aquatic lands, including shorelands, 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.

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.

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: An acquisition project is one that purchases or receives a donation of fee or less than fee interests in aquatic lands or adjacent lands. 
    • Restoration: A restoration project brings a site back to its historic function as part of a natural ecosystem or improves the ecological functionality of a site. Restoration projects may include planting native vegetation, altering or removing structures, and other activities that would make the site a self-sustaining, predominantly natural ecosystem that doesn’t require continual intervention to function.
    • Development: A development project is construction or work resulting in new elements, including but not limited to structures, facilities, and/or materials to enhance outdoor recreation resources.

    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.

    For a list of know navigable freshwater bodies in eastern Washington, see the URL for Full Text link below. 

    Need help writing this grant?


    • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

    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.

    For a list of ineligible project activities, see the following link:

    Pre-proposal Conference:

    The application webinar will be held on February 17 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. followed by Q&A breakout sessions with grant managers from 10:00-10:30 a.m.

    Click here for registration:

    Pre-Application Information:

    Funding generally is awarded every 2 years.

    Grant Application Schedule:
    - Application Webinar, Applications Open: February 17, 2022
    - Application Due: May 3, 2022
    - Technical Review: June 1, 2022 - June 2, 2022
    - Technical Completion Deadline: July 19, 2022
    - Project Evaluation: August 29, 2022 - August 30, 2022
    - Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists: October 25, 2022 - October 26, 2022
    - Ranked Lists Submitted to the Governor: October 31, 2022
    - Board Awards Grants: June 30, 2023 estimate

    Match requirement: 50%

    The 2022 Application Webinar Recording Is Here:

    Additional Funding Information:

    Estimated Size of Grant:

    Grant Limits:
    -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.

    Contact Information:

    Apply online:

    Recreation and Conservation Office Natural Resources Building
    1111 Washington Street
    Olympia, WA 98501

    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 40917
    Olympia, WA 98504-0917

    P: (360) 902-3000
    F: (360) 902-3026
    TTD: (360) 902-1996

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