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 SSA Terminals, Whitley Evergreen, Rainier Petroleum Corporation and Louis Dreyfus Company Washington LLC. More recently we received mitigation funds from Alaskan Copper Company, and 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, over $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 Round

  • Applications are due March 15, 2019.
  • Grant awards will be announced at the end of April 2019.

Fall Round

  • Applications are due September 20, 2019. The application process will open by mid August.
  • Grant awards will be announced November 2019.


Eligibility and Priorities

The Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund supports projects designed to benefit the water quality of Puget Sound and/or the Salish Sea, and their ecosystems. Due to funding fluctuations, the specific watersheds eligible for grants vary. This round, we particularly encourage proposals that will benefit water quality in the following areas:

  • The waters of central Puget Sound, especially
    • Elliott Bay,
    • Duwamish River Watershed, with a preference to projects that relate to the intersection of water quality and human health, including aerial deposition of pollutants, in the Duwamish River watershed and associated food chains.
    • Commencement Bay in the Tacoma area.
  • Eastern shore of Puget Sound from Mt. Vernon to the Canadian border, including the eastern part of the Salish Sea.
  • There are limited funds for tributaries north of Bellingham, including Nooksack River and Lummi River watershed.

Please understand that this funding process is very competitive, and most grants are awarded to well-established organizations with a strong track record of community-based water quality stewardship. Click here for more on eligibility and priorities.

How 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. Groups of any size are eligible to apply. 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 on how to use our online system.

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


If your group is awarded a grant within the last 12 months are discouraged from applying this round. This means you must provide a final grant report before your group can apply for more funding. Click here for the full grant reporting instructions.

Any signage or publicly distributed materials related to a funded project must display the following acknowledgement:

Support for (Project Name) was provided by the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, a grantmaking fund created by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and administered by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment.

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
Email: Khendrick[AT]rosefdn.org (please replace AT with @)


the content below is just for reference and will be deleted before launch