Flood Reduction Grants

The Flood Reduction Grant Program targets medium and small local flood reduction projects in King County.  The program was expanded by the King County Flood Control District in 2021 to include new categories and additional funding. 

Hay servicios de interpretación y traducción a su disposición sin costo alguno. Si los necesita, póngase en contacto con nosotros mandando un correo electrónico a Kim.Harper@nullkingcounty.gov  o llamando a 206-477-6079, hasta esta fecha: 11 de mayo de 2022.

To request language interpreter services or reasonable accommodations, please call Kim Harper at 206-477-6079 at least one week in advance of the event.

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Grant Categories

The Flood Control District is offering funds in four grant categories:

  • Original Flood Reduction
  • Urban Streams
  • Coastal Erosion/Coastal Flooding
  • Culvert Replacement/Fish Passage

Category criteria provided below.

Flood Reduction Grant Programs

Funding & Timing

  • The total amount available for Flood Reduction Grants for 2023 is at least $12 million
  • There is no minimum or cap on the individual award amount. Grants awarded in the past have ranged from $10,000 to $1,500,000.
  • Matching/leveraged funds are encouraged but not required – this is taken into consideration during the scoring process.
  • The expenditure of funds must be completed no later than 36 months after signing the grant agreement.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible for all four categories:

  • Non-profit organizations or associations
  • Special purpose districts
  • Tribes
  • Cities and towns within King County
  • King County agencies

Eligible for the Original Flood Reduction Grant category only: 

  • Homeowner associations 
  • Schools

Online Application Portal

To complete an application, access the online application portal. If you have not applied to a CWM grant in 2023 via this portal, then click on “Create New Account” and follow the instructions given. If you did already apply for a CWM grant, then use the password you created for that application. Once you are in the system, you will see an “Apply” button at the top of the page. That will lead you to the application for the 2023 Flood Reduction Grants. You may view the application questions prior to opening the portal.

For more information or help with the application process, please contact Kim Harper at Kim.harper@nullkingcounty.gov or 206-477-6079.

Criteria for projects

Note:  Applicants should review the Summary of Criteria for Scoring Document for further information.

All projects will meet the following requirements:

  1. The proposed project must provide a flood reduction benefit so that it directly addresses existing or potential flooding.
  2. The proposed project must provide a clear economic benefit that extends beyond the applicant to the broader public good, such as but not limited to:
    • Maintaining public access to residences, businesses or infrastructure.
    • Maintaining safe roads for conveying people, goods, and emergency services.
    • Maintaining existing agricultural or recreational uses.
    • Addressing existing or potential threats from flooding to public safety, water quality or infrastructure.
    • Maintaining populations of anadromous fish.
  3. The proposed project must include on-the-ground structural improvements with the following exceptions:
    • Proposals may be phased so they include site assessment, design, and/or permitting only, as long as the application demonstrates that these early phases will ultimately lead to construction of on-the-ground structural improvements in a future phase (i.e., construction phase not funded under this current round).
    • The project involves the assessment of existing conditions related to the creation of lake management districts.

In addition to these general requirements, the more specific categories will meet the following criteria/guidelines:

CATEGORY: Original Flood Reduction
• This general category will continue to be funded for projects within King County that will result in potential or existing flood reduction and meet the general criteria listed above, but do not fit in any of the more specific new categories.

• Example project types include stormwater retrofit, lake outflow modification, lake flooding, agricultural drainage improvements, slope stabilization, design/permitting of drainage improvement projects.
CATEGORY: Urban Streams
• Must reduce risks from urban flooding to property or public infrastructure.
• Must be located within urban growth areas in King County.
• Example project types include green infrastructure, sediment ponds, flow control, stream restoration, habitat restoration, water quality improvement, design/permitting of improvement projects.
CATEGORY: Coastal Erosion/Coastal Flooding
• Must be located within a mapped flood zone along the Puget Sound shoreline of King County.
• Must result in reducing potential or existing flooding.
• Must focus on increasing resiliency to sea level rise in coastal flood hazard areas.
• Must restore shorelines and/or retrofit or relocate infrastructure out of flood-prone areas to reduce risk.
• Cannot result in any increase in hard armored shoreline such as bulkheads, seawalls, or hardened revetments.
• May include acquisition as long as demolition/relocation of structures out of flood-prone areas is included or addressed under this or other funding.
• Example project types include acquisition and restoration, demolition of at-risk structures, relocation of houses or other structures at tops of bluffs at risk for landslide due to coastal erosion, removal of armoring/bulkheads, modification of shoreline stabilization to use soft armoring techniques, design/permitting of shoreline stabilization.
CATEGORY: Culvert Replacement/Fish Passage
• Must restore fish passage by replacing and/or removing culverts or other instream structures that have been identified as partial or complete barriers to fish passage.
• Must demonstrate reduction of potential or existing flood risks as well as improving fish passage.
• Must demonstrate that project reflects a coordinated effort to restore fish passage in the watershed.
• Must demonstrate that the project has been or will be designed to meet or exceed minimum fish passage standards per Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife requirements (e.g., the 2013 WDFW Water Crossing Design Guidelines).
• Can include stream shoreline stabilization and habitat improvement near fish passage barriers that will be remedied.
• Example project types include replacement or removal of barriers to fish passage, revegetation to improve habitat and reduce erosion in areas affected by removal of blockages, design and permitting of barrier removal/replacement.

Ineligible Projects

The following types of projects will not be considered for funding:

  • Projects whose design and/or performance may transfer flooding problems upstream or downstream.
  • Projects that do not compensate for the loss of restored or undisturbed natural habitat or may adversely impact habitat or water quality.
  • Projects included on the King County Flood Control District 6-year Capital Improvement Project list.
  • Compensatory mitigation projects that are required by regulations to address permitted or unpermitted impacts to a protected sensitive or critical area.
  • Activities required under an NPDES permit for a site.
  • Activities that are not eligible for funding but may be included in a broader project that receives other funding include site selection planning and feasibility studies.
  • Activities that address flooding of buildings that involve modifying aspects of the buildings such as re-sealing foundations or replacing roofs.

Evaluation process, criteria and supplemental items for consideration

King County Water and Land Resources Division staff will process applications on behalf of the Flood Control District. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and applicants will be contacted to set up site visits or phone interviews with technical experts. Technical summaries will be provided to the selection team for consideration during scoring. The selection team will evaluate each eligible proposal using scoring criteria. 

Following scoring, the selection team will develop a list of recommended projects for funding to submit to the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors for final decisions.  While each applicant will select a category on their application that they think best fits their project, the selection team reserves the right to move projects among the four categories. Geographic distribution of projects will be considered as an un-scored factor in developing the recommended grant award list.  Notification of award will be sent via email in early fall of 2023.