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Federal and state dollars are foundational

Salmon recovery funding comes from several sources. Major sources administered by the Recreation and Conservation Office are the sale of state general obligation bonds and the federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

Additional funding comes from the state Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, which supports projects in Puget Sound watersheds. For salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River, many salmon recovery projects are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (not reported here).

During the past 18 years, total funding has averaged $106.2 million a biennium, with that almost equally split between state funding ($56.9 million) and federal funding ($52.1 million). Local funding picks up the rest at an average of $31.9 million a biennium.

The Salmon Recovery Funding Board

The board, created in the Salmon Recovery Act of 1998 (Revised Code of Washington 77.85), sets statewide policy and distributes funding. It has invested about $1 billion in salmon recovery projects. Its investment in 8 regional areas and 25 lead entities engages thousands of people committed to implementing salmon recovery at the local level.

Note: Funding in the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Region substantially skews funding average. Without Puget Sound funding average would be cut nearly in half.

How is the money spent?

Restoration first. In all regions, the majority of funding has been slated for restoration projects to repair damaged habitat, followed by projects to acquire more pristine areas important for salmon.

Not all regions have the same priorities. The second type of project receiving the most funding is acquisition projects in the Middle Columbia River, Puget Sound, and Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Regions but the Hood Canal, Lower Columbia River, Northeast Washington, Snake River, and Washington Coast Salmon Recovery Regions show substantial commitment to planning and assessments.

How do I get more information on the projects?

The board awards funding to projects during public meetings and presents detailed information online to ensure the funding process is visible and accountable to the public. Information on individual projects can be viewed on Recreation and Conservation Office Web site (click on salmon recovery), Project Snapshot, and the Habitat Work Schedule.

View the 2018 Executive Summary to see how the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and other salmon-related funds managed by the Recreation and Conservation Office were distributed by region and across the state.