Things to Know about RCO GrantsThe Recreation and Conservation Office administers a dozen grant programs for providing recreation, conserving habitat, preserving farmland, and recovering salmon. The information below is general and will vary by each grant program. For specifics, review individual pages on each grant program by selecting Find Grant Opportunities on the left and looking under grants by title, and by reviewing grant manuals.
Holding onto the ResourceMost grant programs require the grant recipient to operate and maintain the grant site long-term for the purposes for which funding was sought. Salmon habitat restoration grants require five years of ownership or maintenance. For details, review individual grant manuals.
Planning RequirementsMost grant programs require grant applicants to complete a systematic planning process, such as developing a comprehensive plan, before seeking funding. Learn more.
Eligible Grant RecipientsGenerally, the following types of organizations are eligible for grants. However, eligibility varies by grant program, so please review the grant manuals for specific eligilbility requirements.
- Municipal subdivisions (cities, towns, counties, and special districts such as port, park and recreation, conservation, and school)
- Tribal governments
- Private landowners
- Private marinas
- State agencies
- Federal agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
- Lead entities
Most grants require applicants to contribute to the project by providing either cash or in-kind contributions, up to 50 percent of the cost of the project.
Grant Process – Open and Competitive
All grant proposals must be submitted electronically, through the PRISM online database, with the exception of the Family Forest Fish Passage Program. You must get a user name and password before entering your application.
All grant proposals are reviewed by staff and most also are reviewed by panels of experts. The evaluation meetings are open to the public.
Recreation and Conservation Funding BoardGrant applications generally are scored by a panel of experts in the subject area, based upon written applications and applicants’ in-person presentations. The panel of experts weighs the merits of the proposed projects against established program criteria. The experts then compile a ranked list that goes before the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board for funding consideration.
Salmon Recovery Funding BoardAll projects are evaluated by the local lead entity group, which coordinates with regional organizations. The lead entity and regional organizations evaluate and rank project proposals from their areas and submit a prioritized list to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for funding consideration.
Once project lists are submitted, a Salmon Recovery Funding Board review panel, comprised of scientists from different disciplines, reviews all projects. The panel will note for the board any projects it believes have low benefit to salmon, low likelihood of success, or costs that outweigh benefits.
Grant Funding is Reimbursed, Not Awarded Upfront
For most grant programs, grant recipients must spend money and then request reimbursement for those costs. Grant funding is not awarded upfront, with rare exceptions.Back to the top.
Cultural Resources Surveys may be Required
To protect archeological and cultural resources that may be damaged by construction, Governor’s Executive Order 05-05 requires RCO to send information about projects to the state Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation as well as consult with tribes. If a project may affect resources, grant recipients may be required to conduct a professional survey or perform mitigation actions.
The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation requires that all cultural resource reports (surveys, management plans, monitoring reports, data recovery reports, letter reports, etc.) be submitted in PDF format on a labeled CD along with an unbound paper copy. The PDF must be a single file containing the cover sheet, figures, graphics, appendices, attachments, correspondence, etc., and must be submitted to RCO for review and routing to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Please visit the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation's Web site for more detailed information.
For more information about the executive order, visit the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation's Web site or contact your grants manager.
Survey and Inventory Standards: Washington State Standards for Cultural Resources Reporting.