Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative seeks proposals for habitat restoration projects in Oregon, Washington and Idaho
Release Date: 10-18-2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI) today announced requests for proposals for community-based habitat restoration projects in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The WWRI is a partnership between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), the Pacific Northwest Region 6 of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The WWRI request for proposals and application form can be downloaded at www.ecotrust.org/wwri. The deadline for proposals is January 12, 2011 at 5:00pm PST and grant awards will be announced in March.

Applicants seeking funding for individual projects may request between $20,000 and $100,000 in funding. Projects requesting less than $20,000 or more than $100,000 will not be considered for funding through the WWRI. Applicants whose project(s) will be implemented in 2011 may be given priority, and project activities must be completed within 24 months of the contract start date.

The goal of the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative is to restore the natural functions of watersheds in Oregon, Washington and Idaho while amplifying community-based partnerships focused on the strategic restoration of ecosystems and habitat for native flora and fauna. The WWRI anticipates issuing approximately $1.5 million in project funding in 2011, which will come from both federal and state programs.

To speed the recovery of key watershed processes, the WWRI may also fund several restoration activities over a three-year period in Focus Watersheds where these activities are clearly tied to a watershed action plan and will lead to the completion of whole watershed restoration. Applicants interested in this potential longer-term funding may request between $20,000 and $100,000 per year, but the project budget will be negotiated annually and contingent upon continued project success and the availability of funding. Applications for three-year funding will only be accepted for projects in WWRI Focus Watersheds. Groups planning to apply for multi-year funding should use the standard WWRI application but should contact the WWRI at email before submitting applications to ensure eligibility.

Eligible Project Types
Restoration projects include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Breaching or removal of levees
  • Removal of dams or other large obstructions to rivers and streams
  • Culvert removal and culvert replacement with stream-bed simulation type culverts or bridges
  • Reestablishing river flow patterns, meanders, and channels that have been altered or obstructed
  • Restoring and enhancing connections between lakes, sloughs, side channels, the floodplain, and the main channel
  • Restoring riverbanks and floodplains, including riparian restoration
  • Road decommissioning

Projects should focus on the restoration of anadromous fish habitat and implementation of on-the-ground habitat restoration activities. Projects may also include other activities such as feasibility analysis, design, outreach, education, and monitoring. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit projects that are part of a recognized restoration action plan, salmon recovery plan, or other publicly-vetted prioritization document.

Eligible applicants include: Tribes, local governments and non-profit organizations, such as local watershed councils and Soil and Water Conservation Districts, educational institutions, and other non-governmental community groups and organizations. Federal agencies may apply, but are ineligible for NOAA funds. Federal agencies are encouraged to partner with non-federal, local organizations. WWRI funds can support restoration work on federal land.


About the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI)
The WWRI is focused on restoring the major ecological processes critical to the natural function of entire watersheds — not just pieces of them. The WWRI directs funds and restoration efforts towards select watersheds and activities that provide the greatest opportunity for the recovery of native fish populations across multiple ownerships. Collaborating on watershed priorities provides for a more effective delivery of protection and restoration measures than can be accomplished without a coordinated approach. This work builds relationships across public-private land management boundaries and addresses science-based restoration priorities while coordinating limited financial resources. The WWRI is a collaborative effort between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the PNW Region 6 of the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).