Investing in habitat restoration to bring back Puget Sound’s dynamic natural systems – for salmon, people, and community

PUGET SOUND ACQUISITION AND RESTORATION (PSAR) FUND

NEW: Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund - Request for Proposals for the 2023-2025 Biennium

The Puget Sound Partnership is excited to announce the Request for Proposals for the 2023-2025 Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Large Capital grant program. We look forward to working with you as you develop your proposals for the 2023-2025 biennium.

Please carefully read the RFP as changes have been made to the scoring criteria from the 2021-2023 biennium. We will be accepting pre-proposals no later than April 15, 2022. The RFP, supplemental questions, and scoring criteria can be found here.

Here are some key dates for the large capital grant round:

  • Sponsors consult with local lead entities on local grant round process and local timelines (Late 2021 - Early 2022)
  • Sponsors submit proposals in PRISM in accordance with individual Lead Entity due dates
  • Proposal materials are due to the region from the Lead Entities by April 15, 2022 for preliminary tiering by May 6, 2022
  • Top-tiered projects invited to submit supplemental materials and unsuccessful projects notified on May 6, 2022
  • Project presentations will take place in early May 2022. Reviewers will provide feedback to sponsors during the presentations and immediately thereafter for incorporation into final applications.
  • Sponsors submit supplemental materials in PRISM by June 3, 2022
  • Final ranking occurs between June 3 and June 24, 2022. Final rankings will be announced on June 30, 2022 (tentative).
  • Salmon Recovery Council (SRC) Executive Committee approval of regional project list in July 2022
  • Final SRC approval of regional ranked project list in July 2022
  • Final Leadership Council approval of project list in August 2022
  • Partnership staff submits final draft regional project list to RCO in August 2022
  • Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) Funding Meeting to approve projects in September 2022

Answers to the supplemental questions are not required to be submitted until the full proposal due date, which is June 3, 2022. Please share this announcement with interested parties. Contact Alison Agness, PSAR program manager, with questions: 360.968.9673, alison.agness@psp.wa.gov

PSAR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

$254 million invested in Puget Sound recovery
Projects implemented: 620
River shoreline restored: 6,449 acres
Estuary habitat restored: 3,260 acres
Watershed habitat protected: 12,837 acres
Fish passage restored: 142 river miles
Vegetation planted: 3,096 acres
Habitat area connected: 5,417 acres
Jobs produced: 3,413

Investing in habitat restoration and protection to bring back Puget Sound's natural systems-for salmon, people and community

The Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) fund supports projects that recover salmon and protect and recover salmon habitat in Puget Sound. The state legislature appropriates money for PSAR every 2 years in the Capital Budget. PSAR is co-managed by the Puget Sound Partnership and the Recreation and Conservation Office. Local entities identify and propose PSAR projects. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board prioritizes projects for funding.



COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN PSAR PROJECTS

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN PSAR PROJECTS
Each community decides which projects matter most.
Washington approaches salmon recovery in a unique way. People in communities around Puget Sound organized themselves to address Endangered Species Act listings of Chinook and other salmonids in Washington state. This local approach to a difficult problem is known as “the Washington Way.”

The 15 community-based groups that organized in Puget Sound are called Lead Entities. Lead Entities are supported by regional entities called regional recovery organizations. There are seven around the state, including two in the Puget Sound region. The Puget Sound Partnership is the regional recovery organization for all of Puget Sound except the Hood Canal area. Recovery organizations are accepted by NOAA as the owners of each region’s recovery and are responsible to carrying out salmon recovery plans.

LESSONS LEARNED

The PSAR program continues to improve with feedback from Local Entities.
As managers of the PSAR program, RCO and the Partnership continuously look for opportunities to improve how PSAR works. Some of the improvements over the past 10 years include the following:

  • Developed methods to more clearly communicate how requested PSAR funds are used throughout the region
  • Improved the reporting and data management of PSAR projects to help project partners and constituents visualize results in their area and where money has been spent
  • Updated PSAR Large Capital criteria assist reviewers in selecting only the best projects shown to benefit salmon in Puget Sound and advance regional restoration targets
  • Synthesis of the most effective restoration actions further our knowledge of what’s working for salmon recovery and help guide our actions and priorities in the region

All this and more improvements are underway. We are constantly evaluating our activities to develop an understanding of effectiveness and impact that PSAR has on salmon recovery.

PROJECT EVALUATION

Evaluation helps verify project successes.
By monitoring PSAR project sites and evaluating the resulting data, scientists are observing many ecosystem successes, including the following:

  • Eelgrass beds have expanded, water quality has improved, and shellfish areas are improving in the Skokomish River estuary, as a result of a PSAR-funded restoration project. VIEW FACT SHEET
  • In the South Fork of the Skagit River, 461 estuary acres were restored and now support an additional 160,000 young Chinook each year; this represents about 12 percent of the salmon recovery goal for this area. VIEW FACT SHEET
  • An estimated 65,000 young Chinook salmon are expected to be produced annually after restoration is complete at Fir Island Farm in Skagit County, which holds some of the largest runs of Chinook, pink, and chum in the state. VIEW FACT SHEET

PSAR PROJECT BENEFITS

PSAR benefits extend beyond the local ecosystem:

  • Every $1 million invested in watershed restoration produces more than 16 new or sustained jobs roughly $2.5 million in total economic activity.
  • 80 percent of the funds invested in restoration projects stays in the county where the projects are located, providing needed cash in more rural and distressed counties.


For more information contact:

Alison Agness

PSAR Program Manager
360.968.9673 | alison.agness@psp.wa.gov

 

Last updated: 3/7/22

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