600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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January 14, 2005
Contact: Cheryl McCartney, (360) 902-2701

WDFW accepting letters of interest from prospective grant applicants

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting letters of interest from those who would like to apply for grant funds available from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) for volunteer projects that benefit Washington fish and wildlife.

WDFW will provide the necessary application materials to all letters of interest received. The deadline for letters of interest is Feb. 15, 2005. The due date for complete applications is March 31, 2005.

The department expects to award approximately $1.4 million in grants for projects undertaken by individual volunteers and volunteer organizations between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2007. The Legislature appropriates the funds for use in the ALEA Program.

In past years, ALEA grants have helped to fund everything from a cooperative mule deer study to salmon-rearing operations, said Cheryl McCartney, who administers WDFW's volunteer grant program. Other awards have gone to support habitat-restoration activities, improve access to outdoor recreation and conduct a wide range of natural-resource education programs.

Individual grants awarded from the state ALEA program have ranged from $235 to $76,000, McCartney said.

"These grants have enabled volunteers to conduct on-the-ground projects to do some great things for fish and wildlife," she said. "Volunteers play a very important role in providing resource protection and resource related opportunities for all citizens of the state."

Those interested in applying for funds should submit a letter of interest by mail or e-mail to:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attention Cheryl McCartney
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
E-mail: ALEA@dfw.wa.gov

Anyone with questions about the program can contact the department at 360-902-2700.