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Floodplains by Design (FbD) Grant

Grants to Washington Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes, and
Special Districts to Reduce Flood Hazards

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Washington State Department of Ecology

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Grants to Washington nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribes, and special districts to reduce flood hazards. Funding is also intended for projects to address community needs, such as improving water quality, preserving agriculture, and increasing opportunities for recreation, provided they are part of a larger strategy to restore ecological functions and reduce flood hazards.

Ideal projects are part of an integrated strategy designed to holistically manage the floodplain within a watershed or specific reach of a river. The strategy must identify means to reduce flood risk to affected communities, restore ecological function, support community and environmental resiliency to future climate impacts, and provide additional community benefits. In areas where agriculture is a dominant land use, projects must minimize negative impacts to agriculture and identify strategies to support local agricultural interests. Projects should be part of a watershed or a reach-strategy that connect rivers with their floodplains, giving floodwater room to spread out and allowing room for the dynamic processes that form critical habitats to be restored.

The focus of the Floodplains by Design program are the major rivers and their estuaries in a given watershed. Projects on large river systems are more likely to receive funding than projects on small river systems or creeks.

The FbD projects bring together many different stakeholders in the floodplain to:

  • Benefit an entire community and floodplain system.
  • Improve flood protection for towns and farms.
  • Restore habitat for salmon and other important aquatic species.
  • Improve water quality.
  • Enhance outdoor recreation.
Characteristics of FbD Projects:
  • Reduce Flood Risk and Damage
  • Ecological Restoration and/or Preservation
  • Tribal Support and Engagement 
  • Enhance Agriculture
  • Cost Effective
  • Other Community Needs

For more information about Characteristics of FbD Projects, see:

Eligible Project Types and Activities can be found starting at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166463

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Range of funding awarded: $516,000 to $9,402,000

Term of Contract:

Any Floodplains by Design projects, regardless of scale, are expected to adhere to a 2 to 3 year timeline.

The grants will be awarded for the 2021-23 Biennium, which starts July 1, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entities eligible to apply include:
- Counties, cities, and towns
- Special purpose districts, such as flood control districts
- Federally recognized tribes
- Conservation districts
- Municipal or quasi-municipal corporations
- Not-for-profit organizations that are recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service

Note: Ecology will issue a grant to a single eligible recipient that will be responsible for all Ecology-grant-required actions and will manage all sub-agreements. FbD grant recipients may provide sub-agreements to other organizations and partners in a watershed where a large body of work will occur.

Ineligible Project Types and Activities can be found starting at

Pre-proposal Conference:

On Dec. 4, 2019, the Funding Source will host a webinar from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with more information about the FbD program and offer suggestions about what makes a successful project.

More details, including the time and log-in information, will be posted in the near future on the URL for Full Text below. Webinar participation is recommended but not required.

Pre-Application Information:

- Pre-applications for new Floodplains by Design grants will be accepted from Nov. 4, 2019, through Jan. 31, 2020. The grants will be awarded for the 2021-23 Biennium, which starts July 1, 2021. Pre-applications are used to screen projects to help determine their suitability in matching the intent of the FbD program.
- On March 16, 2020, the results of the pre-application review will be released. Applicants for projects determined to be a good fit will be invited to give a proposal presentation and submit full FbD applications in spring 2020.
- Presentations by local sponsors will be scheduled between March 16 and May 1, 2020.

Pre-applications will be submitted to Ecology, then evaluated by Ecology flood team staff and the FbD Management Team, and the top pre-applications best meeting the objectives of the FbD program will be invited to submit full proposals.

The Project Manager contacts the applicant within four weeks of the grant offer to schedule a time to discuss the funding offer and begin the process of developing a funding agreement

Projects must demonstrate a 20% match (i.e., Flood Control Zone District, city, county, or federal funds). The program offers extensive flexibility in terms of what constitutes match. This requirement is waived for Economically Distressed Communities (see Appendix F of Guidelines in Supporting Documents below).

Disbursements of grant funds: Ecology disburses grant funds to recipients on a cost-reimbursable basis. The recipient must incur eligible costs within the effective date and expiration date of the funding agreement.


Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

For more information contact:
Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program
Floods and Floodplain Management
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Phone: 360-407-6131

General Information/Program Management:
Scott McKinney
Floodplains by Design Grant Program Lead (including Central Washington)

Project Managers:
Southwest Regional-HQ office--Lacey/Olympia
- Matt Gerlach, (360) 407-0271,
- Alex Rosen, (360) 407-6521,

Central Regional Office—Union Gap
- Currently Vacant, please contact Scott McKinney, info above, for this contact

Eastern Regional Office—Spokane
- Lynn Schmidt, (509) 329-3413,

Northwest Regional Office—Bellevue
- Lisa Nelson, (425) 649-4253,

Grant Coverage Areas:

For a map and list of counties in each region, see:

For maps of regional offices and of Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAS) in Washington, see Appendix A and Appendix B at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington

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