Grants offered to landowners for waterway projects
Projects must benefit aquatic species, wildlife or waterway health
Landowners looking for financial help to prevent erosion along streams, increase shading, install off-channel water sources for livestock, or upgrade bridges or culverts that will improve fish access should consider applying for a grant tailored for these and similar small projects.
A new funding cycle is now open for applications.
The MidCoast Small Grant Team works with landowners interested in improving their property for fish habitat benefit. Grants of up to $10,000 from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s Oregon Lottery funds are provided for individual projects that help restore watershed elements such as creeks, rivers or wetlands. Projects must benefit aquatic species, wildlife or waterway health. At least 25 percent of the OWEB funds must be matched from other sources such as cash or in-kind labor. “The program is a happy marriage of on-the-ground benefits to watersheds with on-the-ground benefits to landowners,” said Meta Loftsgaarden, OWEB executive director.
Watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts and tribes submit applications on behalf of landowners. Teams with representatives from councils, districts and tribes have established priorities for types of projects to be funded under this program. Local evaluation committees review applications and forward recommendations for funding to OWEB.
Anyone interested in applying should first talk with their watershed council, soil and water conservation district, or tribal representative, or contact Fran Recht from Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, who serves as the local Small Grant Team contact for the area between the Siuslaw and the Salmon River watersheds. Contact Recht at FranRecht@CenturyTel.net or 541-765-2229. The review process usually takes less than 60 days. Successful applicants have two years to complete the funded project, according to Recht.
The Small Grant Program has helped agricultural landowners in Lincoln and Lane counties comply with Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plans designed to ensure that agricultural operations protect water quality as well as landowners who want to help prevent erosion and help salmon find suitable habitat in their streams.
Examples of recently funded projects include:
* Ranch Water Quality Project
* Big Elk Creek Riparian
* Wolf Creek Stream Enhancement
For more information about OWEB activities and programs, visit www.oregon.gov/OWEB or call OWEB in Salem at 503-986-0178.
OWEB projects support the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds that emphasizes private, voluntary actions to restore wild salmon populations. OWEB is a state agency led by a policy oversight board. The agency provides grants and services to citizen groups, organizations and agencies working to restore healthy watersheds in Oregon. Funding comes from the Oregon Lottery as a result of a citizen initiative in 1998, sales of salmon license plates, federal salmon funds and other sources.
Large wood placed by the Siuslaw Watershed Council through the Small Grant Program
has helped to slow water and collect gravels that will allow salmon to spawn.
Willows along the stream planted by Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District through
the Small Grant Program will help stabilize the bank from erosion, help shade the creek,
and provide food for beavers whose dams will help retain water in the stream during summer.