New WaterWorks grants support grassroots environmental efforts

King County is making it easier for local community groups to launch projects that will improve water quality, control pollution and enhance the environment.

The new WaterWorks Grant program established by Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council supports investments in clean water and healthy communities within WTD’s service area.

The total available grant funding in 2015 is about $850,000, with a maximum award of $500,000. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16.Volunteer-restoration

Nonprofits, schools, cities, counties, special purpose districts and tribes are eligible to apply for the grants. To promote partnerships and community engagement, groups are encouraged to work together on projects.

Projects throughout the utility’s service area will be considered, including in the Green/Duwamish watershed, which would contribute to the cleanup of the Lower Duwamish and the protection of Puget Sound.

The criteria for grant application eligibility include:

  • Creating a benefit to or improvement of water quality within WTD’s service area and benefit its ratepayers.
  • Demonstrating that water quality benefits are related to the WTD’s regional water quality responsibilities.

Examples of the type of projects eligible for funding include:

  • Addressing a water quality problem or creating a project to maintain water quality.
  • Addressing water contaminants, i.e. pollution prevention, source identification, fats/oils/grease, product stewardship, emerging chemicals, etc.
  • Protecting or improving watersheds, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and tidewaters.
  • Providing education, on the ground improvement projects, programs, research, technology development, or related ideas.
  • Building awareness of water quality and environmental protection and promotion of behavioral changes for improved water quality gains/outcomes.

Detailed information about the application process is available online.