About Us

Marine and Nearshore Lead Organization (LO) Background

The Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program (Grant Program) is co-led by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and Washington State Department of Natural Resources. We are funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the National Estuary Program (NEP), and serve as the Marine and Nearshore LO. EPA has allocated approximately $20.75 million to the Grant Program since February of 2011. All federal grant money is matched dollar-for-dollar with state funds. NEP funding is invested in the work of local and tribal governments, state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and other partners to implement the Action Agenda for Puget Sound.

The Grant Program funds actions that advance the Action Agenda for Puget Sound by protecting and restoring marine and nearshore habitats and ecosystem functions. We strive to make precisely targeted investments in high priority actions that will achieve measurable results and meaningful contributions to Puget Sound recovery. The following principles are the foundation for our investments:

  • Protecting functioning elements of the ecosystem
  • Preventing irreversible harm
  • Preventing new pathways for existing threats to cause harm
  • Improving ecosystem resilience by restoring key processes to achieve both no net loss, and net gain, of ecological function

Through the NEP, several Washington state agencies serve as Lead Organizations to develop and implement six-year strategies that advance the Action Agenda for Puget Sound. (See: The Marine and Nearshore Grant Program’s FFY 2014/2015 work plan and six-year strategy). Four are addressing ecosystem protection and restoration:

  • Marine and nearshore protection and restoration
    Departments of Fish & Wildlife and Natural Resources
  • Watershed protection and restoration
    Departments of Ecology and Commerce
  • Toxics and nutrients prevention, reduction, and control
    Department of Ecology
  • Pathogen prevention, reduction, and control
    Departments of Health and Ecology

In addition, both the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) have cooperative agreements with EPA to assist in Puget Sound recovery. PSP funding is focused on regional engagement and Action Agenda management. NWIFC funding provides sub-awards to 20 federally-recognized tribes located within the greater Puget Sound Basin to implement high priority projects that will contribute directly to the restoration and protection of Puget Sound.

More information about the Lead Organizations can be found on the Puget Sound Partnership website

Contact Information

Questions or comments regarding the Grant Program and available funding opportunities can be sent to PSMarineNSGrants@dfw.wa.gov

Margaret McKeown
Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program Manager
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife