Salmon funding board seeks grant requests

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The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board this week began accepting grant applications for fish and habitat restoration projects in Southwest Washington.

The Lower Columbia board acts as a sort of gatekeeper for regional funding, accepting, evaluating, scoring and ranking proposed projects before they’re sent on to the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board -- an entity that hands out millions of dollars in grant funds each year. The Lower Columbia board also will hold a workshop meeting for prospective project sponsors at its Longview office Feb. 22. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at 2127 Eighth Ave. in Longview.

This week’s call for projects is only the beginning of a lengthy grant application process. Draft applications are due in April. Site visits and comments will follow. Final applications are due in June. The state Salmon Recovery Funding Board approves the final list of grant recipients in December.

Several Southwest Washington fish habitat organizations depend heavily on grant funding to function each year. Among the most active are Fish First and the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group.