The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board announced nearly $116 million in grants to 276 projects around the state.
This includes $3.2 million for Grays Harbor and $2.9 million for Pacific County.
The funding is intended to “build and maintain outdoor recreation facilities and conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests” in Washington.
Locally, over $2.3 million will go to purchase over 1,300 acres along the Chehalis River, and another $900,000 will improve the Westport Marina.
Pacific County will see around $640,000 being used to redevelop the Tokeland Marina, and $2.2 million to purchase 447 acres along Highway 101.
In a multi-county project, approximately $175,000 will work to restore a coastal forest in both Grays Harbor and Pacific County.
“These grants are important to strengthening Washington’s economy and retaining our way of life,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “They will build parks, trails and boating facilities, and conserve working farms and critical wildlife habitat – all the things that make Washington a great place to live, work and operate a business.”
With the Legislature’s recent approval of the capital budget, grants are being distributed to cities, counties, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects in 35 of the state’s 39 counties.
The grants were awarded through nine different grant programs. Revenue is a mix of federal grants, the sale of state bonds, gas taxes and user fees.
In a release, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office says that “outdoor recreation is a huge part of the state’s economy with $21.6 billion spent in Washington on recreation trips and equipment annually”. They say that the vast majority is from local money, with only $3.4 billion of those funds coming from out-of-state visitors.
“Investments in outdoor recreation pay many dividends,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the RCO, which administers these grants. “Not only do these grants bring money and jobs to the economy, but spending time outdoors improves the mental and physical health of both kids and adults, and that saves money down the line in costs for health care. Equally important, preserving and protecting natural areas for us to enjoy conserves habitat for fish and other animals, protects clean air and water and reduces pollution.”
All of the funded projects were evaluated and ranked by priority.
“Overall, we have funding only for about half the demand,” Cottingham said. “The process ensures that the state invests strategically in only the best projects.”
Of the nearly $116 million in grants, more than $38 million goes to build or improve parks, more than $19 million goes each to improve facilities for boaters and to maintain trails, nearly $7 million goes to conserve working farms and another $31 million goes to protect important wildlife habitat.
|Benton County||$390,969||Lincoln County||$65,000|
|Chelan County||$4,157,049||Mason County||$3,556,688|
|Clallam County||$1,882,520||Okanogan County||$2,496,171|
|Clark County||$4,999,788||Pacific County||$2,853,803|
|Columbia County||$75,000||Pierce County||$2,424,080|
|Cowlitz County||$1,809,436||San Juan County||$7,992,265|
|Douglas County||$4,263,945||Skagit County||>$2,944,83|
|Ferry County||$82,000||Skamania County||$1,000,000|
|Garfield County||$76,903||Snohomish County||$9,046,418|
|Grant County||$1,078,600||Spokane County||$4,476,108|
|Grays Harbor County||$3,237,345||Stevens County||$373,500|
|Island County||$3,185,312||Thurston County||$8,585,079|
|Jefferson County||$4,048,679||Whatcom County||$1,282,565|
|King County||$15,240,822||Whitman County||$198,000|
|Kitsap County||$2,833,306||Yakima County||$3,626,088|
|Kittitas County||$4,486,957||Multiple Counties||$3,527,952|
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