Puget Sound Action Agenda: Technical Investigations and Implementation Assistance Program
Puget Sound has been designated as one of 28 estuaries of National Significance under section 320 of the Clean Water Act. The goal of the National Estuary Program is to attain and maintain water quality in designated estuaries that will assure protection of public water supplies and the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish and wildlife and allows recreational activities in and on the water. The Puget Sound National Estuary Program's approved Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), the Action Agenda, has a goal to restore and maintain the Puget Sound Estuary's environment by meeting 2020 ecosystem targets. The EPA is committed to protecting and improving water quality and minimizing the adverse impacts of rapid development in the Puget Sound Basin. These commitments include protecting the watersheds and waters of Puget Sound by protecting the fundamental watershed processes that provide and create aquatic habitats and by reducing the generation and release of toxic, nutrient and pathogen pollution. This program has the following main objectives: First, implementing the approved CCMP, the Action Agenda for Puget Sound, is the primary objective of this program. Funds are directed to the highest priority work as articulated in biennial updates to the Action Agenda work plan. The updated biennial work plan identifies specific near term actions to achieve reductions in the harmful impacts on Puget Sound and restore previously damaged aquatic ecosystem functions. A central component of the approved CCMP for Puget Sound is its Biennial Science Work plan which identifies some of the core scientific work that must be completed in order for Action Agenda implementation efforts to succeed. This program is to support implementation of priority near term actions and to support the technical studies and investigations that are needed to help direct implementation priorities. Second, the Scientific Studies and Technical Investigations awards through this program will help support the tracking systems and evaluation approaches for implementation activities. Together with projects aimed at achievement of specific environmental outcomes, the science studies and technical investigations inform adaptive management of the program significantly contributing to the restoration and protection of Puget Sound by 2020. Funding Priorities - Fiscal Year 2019: Continuing from FY 2017 and FY2018, a greater emphasis on direct implementation of near term actions, including Tribal and local priorities, will be the focus of the updated Action Agenda and the Puget Sound Program. Priority will be given to actions that fall in the three strategic initiatives of the Action Agenda and have been scientifically and technically reviewed for the likelihood of positive results to achieve targeted environmental outcomes. The three strategic initiative areas in the Action Agenda are: habitat protection and restoration for salmon and other Puget Sound aquatic species; water quality improvements to protect and improve shellfish growing areas; and control and prevention of pollution from stormwater. Funding will be continued for these three strategic initiative leads. As the core support for leadership and stewardship of Puget Sound science, the Puget Sound Action Agenda?Implementation Strategies grant, new this year, will support three concurrent tasks: Task 1: Science support for partially completed and anticipated Implementation Strategies (ISs). Task 2: Science support for balanced and comprehensive ecosystem approaches. Task 3: Open, transparent and productive evaluation, integration, and communication of science, including rigorous science review, questioning and evaluating.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2015
No accomplishments to report with this year funding since the incremental funding was awarded in late FFY2015. See below for a few of the FFY2014-15 accomplishments under these Lead Organization Grants. Puget Sound is a leader in estuary recovery. IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide. Seven states collaborated to produce the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) Alternatives Assessment Guide, a methodology to identify harmful toxins in the manufacturing process and replace them with less harmful alternatives. (Toxics and nutrients prevention, reduction and control) NW Green Chemistry - Northwest Green Chemistry, established in large part through National Estuary Program funding, offers technical assistance to Washington companies interested in participating in the Safer Choice Program. The program helps consumers and businesses find products that are safer for families, workplaces, communities and the environment. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named the Washington State Department of Ecology and Northwest Green Chemistry as a Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winner. (Toxics and nutrients prevention, reduction and control) The Puget Sound program has made real and systemic changes that support sustainable efforts towards recovery. ■ Integrated zoning and development mapping. To provide a common foundation for land use planning decisions and facilitate cross-jurisdictional planning, the Washington State Department of Commerce developed an integrated map of zoning and development across Puget Sound. This map includes permitting data which could be valuable for counties required to complete Building Lands Reports. (Watershed protection and restoration) ■ Shoreline armoring removal. Shoreline armoring is an important indicator of ecological conditions in Puget Sound. By 2020, the goal is to remove more armoring than is added between 2011 and 2020. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is working with local governments, non-governmental organizations and landowners to remove seawalls, bulkheads and other artificial barriers between the water and the land, helping restore Puget Sound shorelines and make beaches easier to access for all. National Estuary Program funds are used to address armoring systemically, combining direct work with homeowners with scientific advancements that address armoring and on-the-ground armor removal and restoration. It is because of this systemic approach that in 2014, for the first time, more armor was removed from Puget Sound than was installed – a hopeful sign of things to come. (Marine and nearshore protection and restoration; Watershed protection and restoration) ■ No Discharge Zone. Fecal coliform in shellfish can cause illness in humans. One source of fecal coliform in the Puget Sound is sewage discharge from vessels. In order to protect public health, the Washington State Department of Ecology researched a federal "No Discharge Zone" (NDZ) designation for priority areas of Puget Sound. A draft NDZ agreement and petition were developed; over 26,000 public comments were received on the draft petition. If approved by the EPA, this would be the first NDZ in Washington State. (Pathogen prevention, reduction and control) ■ Onsite Regional Funding Program. There are more than a half million on-site sewage systems (OSS) in the Puget Sound Region. These systems are a valuable part of the region's wastewater treatment infrastructure. Like municipal wastewater treatment plants, OSS must be properly built, operated and maintained to effectively treat sewage, thereby protecting public health and water quality. Local health jurisdictions (LHJs) in the 12 Puget Sound counties implement comprehensive OSS management plans and enhanced operation and maintenance (O&M) programs to help accomplish this. Steering and Advisory Committees, made up of Washington Department of Health staff and representatives from the 12 Puget Sound counties evaluated the funding needs, key issues and optional funding mechanisms to develop strategic proposals to successfully establish and fund the two OSS programs in the Puget Sound region. (Pathogen prevention, reduction and control) Floodplains by Design. The Nature Conservancy's multi-benefit floodplain restoration program, Floodplains by Design, has leveraged $50 in capital projects for every National Estuary Program dollar invested. (Watershed protection and restoration) ■ Floodplains by Design. The Nature Conservancy's multi-benefit floodplain restoration program, Floodplains by Design, has leveraged $50 in capital projects for every National Estuary Program dollar invested. (Watershed protection and restoration) National Estuary Program projects are a smart investment, enabling Puget Sound communities to leverage resources wisely and support critical work few others will fund. ■ Progressive comprehensive plan updates. The City of Duvall used National Estuary Program funds to complete a comprehensive plan update. As a small city, the funding made it possible for the city to pursue a more progressive update than is typical. They created watershed overlays to help communicate resource needs to elected officials and the general public, which encouraged development of regulations and incentive-based programs to address those needs. (Watershed protection and restoration) Innovation is innate to the Pacific Northwest, and Puget Sound recovery is no exception. ■ Transfer of Development Rights: King County's Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program is only possible because of National Estuary Program funding. The program prevents urban sprawl by transferring development rights away from rural and resource lands to the county's Urban Areas. The Cities of Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Tukwila and Tacoma are now completing feasibility studies for TDR and may soon negotiate an interlocal agreement with their respective counties. (Watershed protection and restoration) ■ New ecosystem services markets: Ecosystem services markets are still a relatively new idea. The development of some markets has fallen short because outside organizations were not ready to approve a grant recipient's work. The Nisqually Tribe and City of Olympia continue to work collaboratively to develop an ecosystem services market to purchase development rights and build a community forest to protect part of Olympia's aquifer. (Watershed protection and restoration) ■ New scientific tools to inform decisions: The innovative High Resolution Change Detection project uses interactive aerial maps to show site-level changes in land cover over time. The map's analytics provide information about why the land cover changed and measure the rate of change relative to Puget Sound Vital Signs, both of which can be used to track Action Agenda progress. (Watershed protection and restoration) Future success will be amplified by the capacity and social capital being built today. ■ Hood Canal Regional PIC Program: In Hood Canal, shellfish beds are hard-hit by multiple sources of pollution. Kitsap County has an exemplary record of addressing Pollution Identification and Control (PIC) issues, and is now partnered with (and helping mentor) Mason and Jefferson Counties and the Port Gamble S'Klallam and Skokomish Tribes to reduce pollution inputs to Hood Canal's shellfish beds. This effort is part of the Department of Health's PIC program, which is active in all 12 counties around Puget Sound and promotes collaborative efforts to identify and reduce the amount of pollution reaching shellfish beds. (Pathogen prevention, reduction and control) ■ Facilitating the use of best practices: Several Lead Organizations have provided technical assistance and mentorship around the region, and developed resources to expand the reach of this support: The Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines help identify the shoreline type that best suits conditions at a site A Pollution Identification and Correction Program Guidance to find, correct and prevent pollutants from entering Puget Sound IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide to replace harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process A K-12 curriculum on ocean acidification The Northwest Straits Foundation held workshops for landowners, trained volunteers and provided free technical assistance to reduce shoreline armoring The Department of Ecology certified over 50 landscape professionals in best management practices to reduce toxic and nutrient loading from pesticides and fertilizersFiscal Year 2016
No accomplishments to report with this year funding since the incremental funding was awarded in late FFY2015.Fiscal Year 2017
Nearly 1,000 acres of harvestable shellfish beds have been reopened since January 2017. 760 acres of commercial shellfish beds have been upgraded in Liberty Bay. Kitsap County teamed up with local stakeholders to apply progressive pollution identification and correction strategies. 129 acres of Birth Bay in Whatcom County have been upgraded to allow year-round shellfish harvest by both recreational and commercial fishers. From 2007 through January 2018 a total of 11, 318 acres were upgraded and 6,298 acres were downgraded for a net total of 5,020 acres of improvement. Pollution and Identification and Correction (PIC) programs help counties respond to downgrades by forming shellfish protection districts and developing closure response plans to identify and correct pollution sources in areas with declining water quality. The counties’ Local Health jurisdictions have been able to change landowner behavior using incentives like rebates for inspections, pump outs, and installation of risers. Farm incentives are being used to install best management practices such as fencing, gutters, and covered manure storage. 2,578 acres of habitat have been restored or permanently protected. In Snohomish county 27 shoreline restoration program are completed – helping to restore 2,200 linear feet of shoreline. Also, many lake landowners have participated in the LakeWise program (lawn or septic care workshop and/or site visit). This program can reduce nutrient pollution at threatened lakes through actions of the residents, Starter package content for the Toxics in Fish report is complete and delivered. Since 2017 the program has made significant progress in implementing a new and improved funding model, finalizing four additional implementation strategies for the Floodplains, Land Development and Cover, Chinook Salmon, and Shoreline Armoring vital signs. A template for Implementation Strategy fact sheets was developed. A Draft Implementation Strategy Communication Strategy was completed and updated as a living document. Update of economic vital sign indicators. The 2017 State of the Sound report was completed and published online in November 2017, on schedule. The substantially redesigned 2017 State of the Sound report, was recently nominated for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2018 Notable Document AwardFiscal Year 2018
Habitat Strategic Initiative • 1,500 feet of shoreline armor removed including 630.8 tons of large angular rock and 263.87 tons of concrete bags removed • Two key guidance documents: Sea Level Rise Considerations for Nearshore Restoration Projects in Puget Sound and Guidelines for Mapping Sea Level Rise Inundation in Washington State (Planning for Sea Level Rise in Puget Sound, • Action Agenda Near Term Action (NTA) review: planned and executed “NTA camp” for the review of 635 NTAs with 70-volunteer technical reviewers • Leading the Incentivizing Healthy Shorelines workshop & supporting the development of Ecosystem Coordination Board policy recommendations Shellfish Strategic Initiative • Since April 2017, The Kitsap Conservation District has written 5 farm plans, provided technical assistance to 65 landowners, and implemented 41 BMPs- all using EPA Puget Sound funds. • The Washington Department of Health recently announced it is reclassifying 236 acres from Prohibited to Approved for shellfish harvest in Miller Bay Kitsap County, Washington. • The Kitsap Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program finds and fixes sources of fecal pollution. • In Skagit County, 87% of the OSS in the Marine Recovery Area are now current on their inspections. Since 2016, Skagit Public Health has mailed out onsite sewage system reminder letters to property owners every year. Generally, more frequent inspections mean that minor problems are fixed earlier, preventing failure. • Skagit's Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program runs a fun and informative "PoopSmart" social marketing campaign. Comparing the pre-years of April 2016-2017 to post-years of April 2018-2019, OSS maintenance is up a whopping 48%. (274 in 2016-2017, 407 in 2018-2019). • Skagit's Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program also uses innovative methods to find and fix sources of fecal pollution, such as "Crush" the sewage sniffing dog, and a new EPA-funded chemical tracer study. • In Samish Bay, which at 4,000 acres is the largest commercial shellfish growing area in Washington state, and is critical to reaching the Puget Sound target of 10,800 acres net improvement. • Water quality has improved enough that Department of Health has removed the spring critical period as the period of evaluation for an upgrade. • Bacteria levels in the Samish River watershed have been reduced by 60% since 2011. Bay View State Park's swim beach, which was closed for a third of the swimming season due to bacterial pollution in 2015, was open and clean all summer last year. • The number of days that commercial shellfish beds are closed in spring due to pollution have been reduced by 60% since 2014. • The Washington Department of Health (DOH) completed the evaluation of water quality data from the 800-acre Portage Bay Shellfish Growing Area and Nooksack River and determined that the spring closure for the area can be removed. (Data indicates that water quality issues continue to persist during the fall closure period.) • While water quality is not quite good enough to upgrade the overall classification of the growing area, Lummi tribal members will now be able to harvest from Portage Bay during the spring and the removal of the spring closure period shows the success of the watershed-wide pollution identification and correction programs. DOH will continue to work with Whatcom County, the Lummi Nation, and other area stakeholders to find and fix pollution sources. • The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced that portions of commercial shellfish areas around 20 Puget Sound marinas would no longer be classified as prohibited. • Improved vessel sewage management has allowed DOH to remove shellfish harvest restrictions on nearly 700 acres of commercial shellfish beds in 8 Puget Sound counties. • Over the past 20 years, progress has been made to reduce the potential for sewage discharge from boats, and this includes better waste-holding capacity in most boats, increased boat waste pump out stations, and the implementation of a No Discharge Zone throughout the Puget Sound. The improvements have led to better water quality, a lowered illness risk to people who eat shellfish, and greater protection of public health. EPA Puget Sound funding has contributed to outreach and education for vessel owners. • Stormwater Strategic Initiative • The University of Washington Tacoma's "Stormwater Chemical Characterization and Watershed Prioritization" surveyed stormwater in Puget Sound creeks to identify sources, watersheds, and time periods that are responsible for disproportionate water quality degradation and should be prioritized for restoration or stormwater treatment efforts. UW Center for Urban Waters researchers collected >140 water samples in 15 Puget Sound creeks during storm events in Fall 2017 – Spring 2019. Using advanced chemical analyses, they: 1) prioritized regional watersheds most impacted by urban runoff, 2) identified chemical indicators for urbanization and biological degradation, and 3) characterized "pollutographs" relative to storm hydrographs, to measure and prioritize contaminant flows in urban creeks affected by stormwater pollution. In collaboration with Miller Creek Basin (Cities of Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac; Port of Seattle; King County) partners, they sampled along the watershed to identify key contaminant inputs and polluted reaches of the creek. Findings will guide efforts to treat urban stormwater and improve water quality for coho salmon based on these findings. Several recent journal publications were informed by this NEP-funded research, including "Using High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry to Identify Organic Contaminants Linked to Urban Stormwater Mortality Syndrome in Coho Salmon" in Environmental Science and Technology. This publication indicated that tire wear particle leachates contribute to coho pre-spawn mortality. • A major deliverable under the Stormwater Strategic Initiative is an implementation strategy to reduce toxics in Puget Sound fish, including Chinook salmon. This grant’s Toxics in Fish/ Southern Resident Killer Whale work played a significant role in Washington Department of Ecology state budget development processes, and has catalyzed several legislative changes--including the passage of new legislation giving the Department of Ecology new authority to manage toxics identified through the Toxics in Fish / Southern Resident Killer Whale process. It has also led to significant new proposed investments in areas critical to Toxics in Fish and Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery. It has also created impetus to solve some Toxics in Fish challenges, such as prioritizing contaminants of emerging concern--a key critical process step identified in the strategy. Even though this Toxics in Fish implementation strategy is still a 'draft' product and short of full completion, Department of Ecology has already been able to use it to great effect. Base+ Award 1. To promote financial management and financial sustainability the Partnership initiated a project management process to more effectively manage program, project and staffing resources. 2. To promote alignment of local and regional priorities and actions over 600 Near Term Actions (NTA) were evaluated for alignment with the Leadership Council adopted slate of regional priorities at a successful NTA review “camp”; an excellent example of collaboration across the Puget Sound recovery system with over 80 participants. 3. To document the status of recovery in Puget Sound the Partnership published the 2017 State of the Sound Report. The report combines a response to statutory questions about the management and funding of Puget Sound recovery, with information on ecosystem status and trends. Unlike previous reports, the 2017 report provides a summary of the progress on the Vital Sign indicators with more detailed indicator information available on an updated Vital Signs website. The Vital Signs website was updated with Vital Sign-level reports and messaging from PSEMP workgroups for 12 of 25 Vital Signs as of October 2017. Over 1,500 reports (and a larger number of executive summary 2-pagers) have been distributed to partners, significantly more than for previous reports. Also notable in the 2017 report are four locally based recovery stories about seawalls, shellfish, floodplains and stormwater pollution. The stories are designed to be visually engaging with extensive use of graphics to help tell the story. The report also contains a list of 17 recommendations (also included in the Executive Summary) that indicate the increased commitment needed from partners to advance recovery. The Partnership has also communicated the report's findings to multiple audiences around Puget Sound through presentations and webinars. The redesigned Vital Signs Design report was nominated for the national conference of State Legislatures’ 2018 Notable Document Award. The Vital Signs design was called out as a best practice by the Indian River Lagoon Council and the National Estuary Program. 4. To provide professional development opportunities Partnership staff engaged in the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference that was successfully convened in Seattle. The theme of the conference was “Ecosystem Recovery in an International Transboundary System” with presentations spanning a range of topics. The Partnership’s Science and Evaluation Director was co-chair of the 2018 conference. Thirty staff participated in the event with four serving as session presenters and/or facilitators. 5. To promote strategic regional engagements the Partnership continued forging connections with entities such as the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Boeing Company. An outcome of meeting with the former is support for state legislative priorities of the Partnership. 6. To promote engagement and involvement in ecosystem recovery, six of the seven Marine Resources Committees (MRC) affiliated with the Northwest Straits Commission engage volunteers in a variety of stewardship and training events. For example, through Salish Sea Stewards, 61 Skagit county residents received citizen science training. The Clallam County MRC cooperates with the city of Port Angeles to provide oil spill preparedness training. During this reporting period 33 volunteers received the HAZWOPER certification. MRCs host symposiums as well. Over 100 people attended a symposium hosted by the San Juan MRC on the plight of the southern resident killer whales, while the Whatcom MRC co-hosted a water supply symposium with over 130 participants. Implementation Strategies/Science Award 1. To improve awareness and understanding, the Puget Sound Institute publishes newsletters and magazine articles and covers special events like the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 2. To enhance Implementation Strategies (IS) through social science Effectiveness and Social Science Protocols have either been drafted and are ready for incorporation or have enough content to be considered well-formed enough to be included as Guidance for future IS development. Additional Social Science concepts and information are being integrated into the Toxics in Fish and Marine Water Quality implementation strategy process as content is being created by the interdisciplinary team (IDTs). 3. To support the Science Panel’s role in Implementation Strategies, guidelines and terms of reference for external review of shoreline armoring were prepared for review of the Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy. The Guidelines and TOR for Shoreline Armoring IS was developed to be applicable to other ISs with minimal change. 4. To bridge between the Puget Sound scientific community and the Management Conference, staff presented as follows: July 2018 meetings: discussion of nutrient forum and marine water quality IS at SP meeting; discussion of Shore Armoring at ECB meeting. Convened science-policy workshop on December 12, 2017 - science panel invited all leadership council members, leaders of ECB and salmon recovery council and others (e.g., SI Lead staff) to discuss resilience framing of Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. 5. Staff have participated in the national coastal and estuaries meeting (CERF) in November 2017. Staff presented a session on What’s Working to Restore Puget Sound? Making Decisions Based on Outcomes. Partnership, participated in the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, presented on framework for Puget Sound ecosystem recovery framework at conference of National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP), and staff were part of a panel presentation on Puget Sound at the National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration.
Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3)
Clean Water Act, Section 320
Annual Appropriation Acts
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Federal government agencies and Washington State government agencies are eligible to apply under this program. Public and private institutions of higher education located in the United States are eligible to apply under this program. Units of local government organized under Washington State law and located within the Greater Puget Sound basin are eligible to apply. Also eligible to apply are special purpose districts, as defined by Washington State law at R.C.W. 36.93.020, including but not limited to, irrigation districts, and water and sewer districts that are located in or govern land and water resources within the greater Puget Sound basin. Conservation districts located in or governing land and water resources within the greater Puget Sound Basin are also eligible to apply for assistance under this program. Watershed planning units formed under RCW 90.82.040 and RCW 90.82.060, local management boards organized under RCW 90.88.030, salmon recovery lead entities organized pursuant to RCW 77.85.050, regional fisheries enhancement groups organized pursuant to RCW 77.95.060 and Marine Resource Committees organized pursuant to RCW 36.125.010 and RCW 36.125.020 are eligible to apply if they are located within or their jurisdictions include waters and/or lands within the Greater Puget Sound basin. Intrastate organizations such as associations of cities, counties or conservation districts in the Greater Puget Sound basin are also eligible to apply. Nonprofit nongovernmental entities are also eligible to apply. Federally recognized Indian Tribes located within the greater Puget Sound basin and any consortium of these eligible tribes are also eligible to apply. The greater Puget Sound basin is defined as all watersheds draining to the U.S. waters of Puget Sound, southern Georgia Basin, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. For profit business entities, private individuals and families are not eligible to apply. However, all of these types of entities could partner with an eligible applicant as a sub-awardee. For certain competitive funding opportunities under this assistance listing, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.
The direct beneficiaries would be the entities receiving the assistance. Due to the fact that the program is designed and intended to assist in the restoration and protection of the Puget Sound estuary, the ultimate beneficiaries will be the residents of the greater Puget Sound region.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement. For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed in the competitive announcement.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through https://www.grants.gov. Additional information on applying for EPA grants can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/grants/how-apply-grants
For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements. EPA reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards under any announcements issued under this program.
Each Request for Applications (RFA) or Request for Proposals (RFP) issued under this program will specify the deadline for that individual solicitation.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The Region expects that its review of the applications received in response to competitive solicitations will be completed within 120 to 150 calendar days following the deadline for the submission of applications for each Request for Applications or Request for Proposals issued under this program.
Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this assistance listing will be published in each announcement of a competitive funding opportunity (e.g., the Request for Applications (RFA) or Request for Proposals (RFP).
How may assistance be used?
The Puget Sound funds are for the development and implementation of programs that will improve water quality, air quality and minimize the adverse impacts of rapid development in the Puget Sound Basin, including activities linked to habitat restoration projects or controlling sources of nonpoint pollution. The assistance can be used to fund technical studies and investigations, as well as protection and restoration activities necessary to achieve environmental outputs and/or outcomes identified in the Puget Sound Action Agenda. The Action Agenda implementation work can either be funded directly or through a Strategic Initiative Lead entity which could then fund subawards for Action Agenda implementation activities. Funding may also be used to develop and carry out implementation strategies that map out steps to achieve progress and outcomes for a particular ecosystem target, management issue, or geographic area. Assistance can be used to finance work identified in the Puget Sound Partnership's Biennial Science Work Plan and can be used to manage, monitor, oversee, or participate in the implementation of the 2020 Action Agenda. Funds can also be used to study, evaluate, model, plan, and prepare for the impacts of climate change on Puget Sound ecosystem protection and restoration activities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Recipients of this funding will be required to use EPA's Puget Sound Financial and Ecosystem Accounting Tracking System (FEATS), which is the primary mechanism for performance monitoring. Key grant outputs will be tracked on a semi-annual basis through FEATS, as well as progress towards project milestones and deliverables. FEATS provides linkages to EPA Puget Sound performance measures and Dashboard Indicators. FEATS allows award recipients to share challenges, solutions, lessons learned, and reflections associated with their work.
Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.
Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate charges to each grant must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until expiration of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised by an audit, related records shall be maintained until the matter is completely resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is voluntary_rating. 50%. This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Clean Water Act §104(a) and §104(b) have no statutory formula for match; that is, no match is required by the statute. Therefore, for awards under this program to be made under these authorities, the EPA will not require any non-federal match by any successful applicant. If awards are made for development of a comprehensive conservation and management plan (CCMP) , or for general projects that implement the CCMP or that exercise management and oversight over the implementation of the CCMP, there will be a match requirement pursuant to CWA §320. For development of the CCMP, the federal share of a grant to any person (including State, interstate, or regional agency or entity) under CWA §320(g)(3)(A)(i), for a fiscal year shall not exceed 75 percent of the annual aggregate costs of development of a CCMP. For projects funded under CWA §320(g)(3)(A)(ii) the federal share of a grant to any person (including State, interstate, or regional agency or entity) shall not exceed 50 percent of the annual aggregate costs of the implementation of the plan. Under CWA §320(g)(2 and §320(g)(3)(ii) there is a statutory match of 50% of the total project costs. CWA §320 allows for an aggregate match; that is, the match requirement for federal financial assistance for national estuary program projects applies to the estuary's Management Conference as a whole. Thus, any spending of nonfederal funds by the Management Conference within a fiscal year can be used as match for federal financial assistance. The EPA expects to structure the Request for Proposals issued under this program so that applicants can identify expenditures of nonfederal funds on projects that implement the CCMP by themselves as well as by other Management Conference members as proposed nonfederal match for the financial assistance being requested. Contact the EPA Regional Office contact identified in this assistance listing description for more information. This program does not have MOE requirements.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The assistance will be awarded during FFY 2010-2019. Funds will be disbursed to individual assistance recipients in accordance with the terms specified in the assistance agreement. New funding will be available for FFY2020, depending on congressional appropriations. Assistance will be disbursed in accordance with the terms specified in the assistance agreement. Typically, assistance recipients draw funds at either monthly or quarterly intervals based on their incurred costs.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, Puget Sound Team Water Division - Geographic Programs Section, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 155, 19-H16
Seattle, WA 98101 US
206-553-0332 or 1-800-424-4EPA, extension 3-03322
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 18$18,000,000.00; FY 19 est $18,000,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$17,500,000.00; FY 16 Estimate Not Available FY 15 est $15,671,520.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The EPA made awards for scientific and technical studies in the range of $200,000 - $700,000. Awards for implementation assistance and for managing and monitoring the implementation of the CCMP ranged from $200,000 to $6,000,000 each. Funding for the Strategic Initiative leads and the Management Conference Support for Implementation Lead will range from $2.490M to $5.500M. Some of these awards may be incrementally funded with appropriations from future fiscal year
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
For grants and cooperative agreements with local governments, tribal governments and special purpose districts, the procedures and requirements should be in conformance with the OMB's Uniform Grants Guidance (UGG) located in 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Administrative Requirements,Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards). This supersedes and streamlines requirements from 40 C.F.R. Part 31 "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments", and OMB Circular Nos. A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which had been placed in 2 CFR 220, 225, 215, and 230). 40 C.F.R. Part 35 "Environmental Program Grants-State, Interstate and Local Government Agencies" is still applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2015
No accomplishments to report with this year's funding since the incremental funding was awarded in late FFY2015. See the list of accomplishments under Section 130 for FY2015.Fiscal Year 2016
No accomplishments to report with this year's funding since the incremental funding was awarded in late FFY2015Fiscal Year 2018
Here is a partial list of some examples of projects funded: Nearly 1,000 acres of harvestable shellfish beds have been reopened since January 2017. 760 acres of commercial shellfish beds have been upgraded in Liberty Bay. Kitsap County teamed up with local stakeholders to apply progressive pollution identification and correction strategies. • Stormwater Strategic Initiative • The University of Washington Tacoma's "Stormwater Chemical Characterization and Watershed Prioritization" surveyed stormwater in Puget Sound creeks to identify sources, watersheds, and time periods that are responsible for disproportionate water quality degradation and should be prioritized for restoration or stormwater treatment efforts. UW Center for Urban Waters researchers collected >140 water samples in 15 Puget Sound creeks during storm events in Fall 2017 – Spring 2019. Using advanced chemical analyses, they: 1) prioritized regional watersheds most impacted by urban runoff, 2) identified chemical indicators for urbanization and biological degradation, and 3) characterized "pollutographs" relative to storm hydrographs, to measure and prioritize contaminant flows in urban creeks affected by stormwater pollution. In collaboration with Miller Creek Basin (Cities of Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac; Port of Seattle; King County) partners, they sampled along the watershed to identify key contaminant inputs and polluted reaches of the creek. Findings will guide efforts to treat urban stormwater and improve water quality for coho salmon based on these findings. Several recent journal publications were informed by this NEP-funded research, including "Using High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry to Identify Organic Contaminants Linked to Urban Stormwater Mortality Syndrome in Coho Salmon" in Environmental Science and Technology. This publication indicated that tire wear particle leachates contribute to coho pre-spawn mortality. 129 acres of Birth Bay in Whatcom County have been upgraded to allow year-round shellfish harvest by both recreational and commercial fishers. From 2007 through January 2018 a total of 11, 318 acres were upgraded and 6,298 acres were downgraded for a net total of 5,020 acres of improvement. Pollution and Identification and Correction (PIC) programs help counties respond to downgrades by forming shellfish protection districts and developing closure response plans to identify and correct pollution sources in areas with declining water quality. The counties’ Local Health jurisdictions have been able to change landowner behavior using incentives like rebates for inspections, pump outs, and installation of risers. Farm incentives are being used to install best management practices such as fencing, gutters, and covered manure storage. 2,578 acres of habitat have been restored or permanently protected. In Snohomish county 27 shoreline restoration program are completed – helping to restore 2,200 linear feet of shoreline. Also, many lake landowners have participated in the LakeWise program (lawn or septic care workshop and/or site visit). This program can reduce nutrient pollution at threatened lakes through actions of the residents, Starter package content for the Toxics in Fish report is complete and delivered. Since 2017 the program has made significant progress in implementing a new and improved funding model, finalizing four additional implementation strategies for the Floodplains, Land Development and Cover, Chinook Salmon, and Shoreline Armoring vital signs. A template for Implementation Strategy fact sheets was developed. A Draft Implementation Strategy Communication Strategy was completed and updated as a living document. Update of economic vital sign indicators. The 2017 State of the Sound report was completed and published online in November 2017, on schedule. The substantially redesigned 2017 State of the Sound report, was recently nominated for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2018 Notable Document Award. 2018 Puget Sound Action Agenda Update: Near Term Action (NTA) coordination and collaboration occurred from November 2017 with issuance of the Final NTA Solicitation through Reviewer Evaluations that continued from March-July 2018. Over 80 people from around Puget Sound gathered for two days to review and evaluate over 600 actions proposed for consideration in the Puget Sound Action Agenda. The 2016 Action Agenda was adopted, and now the draft 2018 Puget Sound Action Agenda is being released for public comment on September 1, 2018. The Management Conference review and Leadership action are anticipated for December 2018 after which the document will be submitted to EPA for approval. State agency leadership, Board members and Leadership Council member helped to organize and participated in the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. The backbone Puget Sound organization uses many communication approaches to interact with hundreds of organizations and individuals across Puget Sound. Our partners are geographically dispersed and connect with their own networks to implement recovery actions, yet all share a common vision of a healthy Puget Sound. The lead organization uses a collective impact model because it seeks to bring people together, in a structured way, to achieve change. The role of a backbone organization for regional recovery is to orchestrate the work of regional partners and ideally help to maximize the outcomes they achieve. They in helping to promote excellence in communication, engagement and building trust, developed a Strategic Communication Plan which includes goals to ensure that key decision-makers have the tools, information, and support to make policy and funding decisions that will accelerate Puget Sound recovery and to engage partners in the collective impact community to build trust, reinforce relationships, and foster commitments .