Natural Resource Investment Program


Water quality is threatened or impaired in over 1,500 miles of Washington’s rivers and streams. Assessments of these waters have identified several pollutants associated with land use activities, including pesticides, nutrients, fecal coliform, and Escherichia Coli (E. Coli). With assistance from conservation districts, landowners and farmers can implement practices that prevent these pollutants from reaching our waters.

Program Overview

This legislative appropriation is provided for grants to complete natural resource enhancement projects necessary to improve water quality in non-shellfish growing areas. The program uses state capital funding to put projects on the ground. View the full program guidelines (for conservation districts).

How it Works

Each of the 45 conservation districts in Washington state enter projects into the SCC Conservation Data Practice System (CDPS) in priority order. When state funding is allocated to the SCC, our staff pulls funding reports out of the CPDS database to decide project allocations.


Contact Courtney Woods, 360.407.6114


Wahkiakum Conservation District project on the historic
Skamokawa Creek Channel that replaced a fish barrier tide
gate with a fish passable tide gate, opening up rearing habitat
for juvenile salmonids.

Quick facts about the program:
  • In 2016 conservation districts used Natural Resource Investment Grants to install 76 in-stream salmon habitat structures, improve over 600 acres of land and habitat, protect 840 feet of stream, plant over 12,500 trees, and much more.
  • Grants funds have been used to support direct seed projects that allow farmers to plant and fertilize crops in one or two passes, reducing erosion by 95 percent.
  • Many water quality projects benefit salmonid species, including Coho, Chinook, Chum, and Steelhead.
building livestock exclusion fence

Lewis Conservation District helped a livestock producer add 350 feet of fence to both sides of a stream. Livestock exclusion fencing helps reduce erosion, protect habitat, and prevent pollution.