Submitted by Chehalis Basin Partnership & Chehalis Basin Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery

The Chehalis Basin Lead Entity is soliciting project proposals for salmon habitat restoration and protection actions around the streams and rivers that flow into the Chehalis River and Grays Harbor. The group’s vision is to see thriving salmon populations in local rivers and streams. Successful proposals will be recommended for funding through the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

A salmon’s habitat is the condition in and around the water that it needs to thrive.  Maintaining and restoring those conditions can occur in many ways. Types of projects that benefit salmon include:

  • planting native trees and shrubs along stream banks;
  • reconnecting side-channels with a river main stem;
  • anchoring tree trunks and their roots in creeks to provide shelter and create pools;
  • removing invasive plant species like knotweed from streambanks;
  • protecting land containing key habitats that are either in pristine condition or could benefit from restoration.

The most common restoration actions that have taken place in the Chehalis Basin over the past few decades have been fish passage barrier corrections.  Undersized and poorly constructed culverts (crossings for water under roads) impede salmon passage, making it impossible for an adult salmon to access spawning habitat, or for a juvenile salmon to access feeding areas.  By correcting barrier culverts, we allow a stream to fully use its channel and salmon to fully use their habitat.

Private landowners are eligible to submit their own proposal for a project on their land. The Chehalis Basin Lead Entity encourages landowners to work with a qualifying organization, due to the complexity of the application process. Eligible applicants include Cities; Counties; Conservation Districts; Tribes; Non-Profit Organizations; Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups; Special Purpose Districts; State Agencies (only if with a local partner).

The minimum amount of funding applicants can apply for is $5,000. There is no maximum, but the total amount available for all projects in the river basin is approximately $700,000. Additional funding sources are available to complete these projects.  The Lead Entity encourage proposals ideas for high priority projects that address habitat needs regardless of cost.  Each grant needs to be “matched” with funds from other sources, equivalent to 15% of the total project cost.

To apply, eligible applicants must submit a project form to the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity by February 24, 2022.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Lead Entity Coordinator, Kirsten Harma, at kharma@chehalistribe.org, to discuss their project idea. To learn more about how to apply and to download application materials, visit the Chehalis Lead Entity website and see “For Grant Applicants”.

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