Tribes May Apply for $3.5 M in Grants for Puget Sound

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making $3.5 million in grants available to Puget Sound-area tribes to implement high priority environmental projects that benefit the Sound.

Grant proposals are due to the EPA by Jan.12, 2010. EPA will award grants ranging from $200,000 to $600,000. All federally recognized Indian tribes located within the greater Puget Sound basin and any consortium of these eligible tribes may apply for grants under this program.

According to Michelle Pirzadeh, acting EPA regional administrator in Seattle, this grant program will help Northwest tribes do what they do best, take direct and local action to benefit the environment.

“We have much to learn from tribes about environmental stewardship and taking care of our natural treasures,” said Pirzadeh. “Their leadership and partnership are essential to meet the goal of restoring Puget Sound by 2020.”

EPA is soliciting proposals that implement strategies and actions that are of high ecosystem or human health priority to tribes and that are consistent with the EPA-approved plan for restoring and protecting Puget Sound, the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda.

Eligible tribes and tribal consortia in the greater Puget Sound basin can apply for these grants. State and federal agencies, universities, watershed councils, salmon recovery lead entities and non-government entities are not eligible but are encouraged to participate by partnering and collaborating with the eligible tribal entities.

Puget Sound is part of a larger trans-boundary ecosystem that includes Puget Sound, southern Georgia Basin, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These waterbodies have also been referred to together as the Salish Sea, the ancestral home of numerous Indian Tribes and First Nations.

Eligible applicants will not be required to demonstrate a non-federal matching contribution. The Puget Sound Partnership will provide the required demonstration of matching contribution for the grants made under this program in the current biennium.

For more information, visit EPA will host a public workshop about the solicitation at 1 p.m. on Nov. 23.

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