About Us

Marine and Nearshore Lead Organization (LO) Background

The Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program (Grant Program) is co-lead 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 $15.5 million to the Grant Program since February of 2011, and additional funding may be available through January 2017. 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

Our investments are organized into five areas. The work in each category has an objective that implements the strategies of the Action Agenda and the principles of the Grant Program. Our approach is oriented around addressing what are understood to be the greatest threats to Puget Sound marine and nearshore habitats.

Investment Area   Objectives
Effective Regulation and Stewardship Reduce human development pressure in Puget Sound marine and nearshore environments through regulatory and voluntary protection mechanisms.
Strategic Capital Investment Further reduce human development pressures in the nearshore by implementing strategic restoration and acquisition projects.
High Priority Threats:
Invasive Species and Oil Spills
Prevent invasive species and oil spills from degrading Puget Sound and compromising on-going and future recovery efforts.
Adaptive Management Adaptively manage our program through exploration, action, monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment to produce optimal results at the project, programmatic, and Puget Sound recovery levels.
Cross-Cutting Investments Address threats to Puget Sound that cut across Lead Organizations to achieve synergistic results beyond the scope of the Grant Program.

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. 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, or call 360-902-2540.

Patricia Jatczak
Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Manager
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Maggie McKeown
Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program Manager
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)