Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund

About the Fund

The Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund was created by a record legal settlement between the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (Soundkeeper) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, and has since been supplemented by several other pollution mitigation payments including Trident Seafoods, SSA Terminals, Rainier Petroleum Corporation and Louis Dreyfus Company Washington LLC. More recently we received another record settlement payment from BNSF, which involved Soundkeeper numerous other waterkeepers and the Sierra Club. The Fund’s goal is to mitigate past pollution runoff by supporting community-based efforts to protect or improve the water quality of Puget Sound. Since inception in 2012, close to $3 million in grants have been awarded for projects in Puget Sound related to conservation, restoration, citizen science, environmental justice, shoreline access and environmental education.

The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance’s Clean Water Act enforcement program enforces federal water quality laws against serious violators. Lawsuits are brought on behalf of Soundkeeper’s citizen members, each of whom has a legal right to swimmable and fishable waterways. In bringing pollution-related lawsuits, Soundkeeper’s goal is to achieve negotiated settlements that bring polluters into compliance with the law and the permitting system. Settlement funds are then donated to local environmental groups to help them repair damage done to the Sound. The $1.5 million BNSF Balmer Yard settlement which launched the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund is one of the largest ever in a citizen enforcement action involving stormwater discharges. Click here to read more about how citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act created this funding opportunity.


  • Spring 2017 Applications are due March 1, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Applications are due September 15, 2017.

How To Apply

Groups of any size are eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded up to a maximum amount of $25,000. In addition to larger organizations, we’ve specifically reserved some of the grant funds for smaller grassroots organizations and we encourage proposals from local, volunteer-based groups. If your organization has an annual budget of $100,000 or less, we encourage you to apply for a grant of $10,000 or less.

Please check all eligibility requirements before starting the online application. Click here to read the instructions for applications and how to use our online systemClick here to read tips for writing your application.

Please sign up here to receive notifications of future grant opportunities.


To be eligible for a Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund Grant, the applicant and project must meet the following criteria:

  • Projects Supported: The project must be designed to improve (or prevent degradation) of the water quality of Puget Sound. Preference will be given to projects that directly benefit the Green-Duwamish River watershed, and the eastern shoreline of South and North Puget Sound and the Salish Sea from Olympia to the Canadian Border. Strong preference will be given to proposals that take an environmental justice approach to water quality.
  • Applicant requirements: The applicant must demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed project, including experience in successfully conducting similar or otherwise related work in the past.
  • Nonprofit status: The applicant must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity. If you work with a small organization that lacks non-profit status but has a compelling project, the Rose Foundation may be willing to act as your fiscal sponsor for this grant proposal.
  • Environmental Justice: While this is not specifically an environmental justice fund, supporting environmental and social justice is a core organizational value that guides all of the Rose Foundation’s programs. Projects that advance water quality  as well as environmental justice will receive preference.
  • Frequency of Applying: Organizations whose proposals are rejected may re-apply after one year. Organizations that are funded may re-apply after one year if their evaluation form has been submitted and accepted.
  • Duration of Support: Most grants are for a one year period; however, you do not have to ask for a one year grant. It is permitted to request a shorter or longer grant period if that is what you need. However, even if you are asking for multi-year support, the maximum request cannot exceed $25,000. After three consecutive years of funding, groups must wait two years before reapplying.

Click here to check the full eligibility requirements and to see examples of eligible projects.


If your group is awarded a grant, you must provide a final grant report within one year of receiving the money, or before your group can receive additional funding. Click here for the full grant reporting instructions.

Funding Board Members

The Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund is advised by a local funding board of individuals with deep knowledge of Puget Sound issues. Click here to read the member bios.

For More Information

Kevin Hendrick, Grants Manager
khendrick -at- rosefdn.org

Tim Little, Executive Director
tlittle -at- rosefdn.org
(510) 658-0702 x301

For technical questions or assistance with the application system, please contact:

Laura Fernandez, Program Officer
lfernandez -at- rosefdn.org
(510) 658-0702 x304

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