RE: 2010 ECO Net Action Agenda Implementation Block Grants

RE: 2010 ECO Net Action Agenda Implementation Block Grants

2010 ECO Net Action Agenda Implementation Block Grants

October 2009

Background: The legislature awarded the Puget Sound Partnership $450,000 for the 2010 fiscal year (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010) to fund education and outreach priorities of the Action Agenda,specifically the E.4 section and Near Term Actions. For FY 2009/10, $185,000 of these funds will be given out as block grants to the 12 Local ECO Networks.

Block Grant Purpose: Local ECO Network funded projects must identify and advance Action Agenda priorities and goals by increasing public awareness and engagement and fostering specific behavior changes among new and untapped audiences to better protect, restore and reduce pollution in Puget Sound..

Each Local ECO Network is expected to implement strategies that address both elements – raising public awareness/engagement and advancing specific behavior change. See below under Project Elements section.

Each Local ECO Network will determine which projects are best suited to implement Action Agenda priorities within their local framework and needs.

Block Grant Funding: $185,000 of the education and outreach funds will be given out as block grants to the 12 Local ECO Networks. Amount of grant funds available to each network is based on the population of the area served; total amount awarded will be dependent on the individual grant proposals fulfilling all expected elements:

  • Largest three networks with populations between 1.8 million and 600,000 (King, Pierce and Snohomish-Camano) may receive up to $25,000 per network;
  • Middle four networks with populations between 300,000 and 100,000 (Kitsap, Thurston, Whatcom, and Skagit) may receive up to $15,000 per network;
  • Smallest five networks with a population between 70,000 and 14,000 (Whidbey, Straits, Mason, Hood Canal and San Juan) may receive up to $10,000 per network.

Grant Management: Each local ECO Network will chooseone member organization to manage the grant (Network Fund Manager). Network Fund Managers must be members of ECO Net and registered in the ECO Net database at The organization that becomes the Network Fund Manager will sub-contract with other organizations in the local network to implement the project elements. A maximum of 15% can be used for overhead costs such as grant administration, bookkeeping, etc. Any government entity or 501(c)3 may qualify as a Network Fund Manager, with the consent of the local network members. Federal agencies may not receive grant funds. All projects or programs must be implemented within the 12 Puget Sound counties (San Juan, Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson and Clallam). The Puget Sound Partnership encourages and favors, but does not require, matching funds.

Project Timeline

Projects must start no earlier than November 1, 2009 and be completed no later than June 30, 2010. No costs will be reimbursed past June 30, 2010.

Project Elements and Associated Tasks: Final slate of recommended projects for each Local ECO Network must include both elements 1 and 2 described below. Element 3 is optional. Each of the elements may be addressed by one or more proposals. As well, one proposal may address all elements.

Partnerships among organizations are required where appropriate.

The elements described below – 1) raise public awareness 2) public engagement and behavior change and 3) funding coordination – must be addressed by proposal deliverables and desired outcomes. These may be described in separate proposals or one proposal that addresses all elements.

  1. Element 1: Raise Public Awareness. Increase the percentage of people who are aware of the poor health of Puget Sound and the related issues affecting it in your area.
  2. Activities:
  3. Consistent Messaging: Develop a communication plan that identifies the issues affecting the local area with vetted facts and resources to support messages.
  4. Communication Strategy: Create and implement, or further an existing communications strategy for your given area. Key audiences and the most effective communication portals (ex. Web, newspaper, radio, print, presentations, meetings, etc.) to reach the highest number of people for a given area should be identified and used.
  5. Deliverables associated with task item
  6. Element 2: Public Engagement and Behavior Change. Increase the number of people engaged in activities that advance the protection, restoration and water quality of Puget Sound.
  7. Activities:
  8. Volunteer : Engage new and untapped audiences in high quality, locally supported habitat protection, restoration, research and outreach projects (i.e. habitat restoration and protection actions, stormwater projects, citizen science projects, water quality projects, water quantity projects, etc.)
  9. Behavior Change Programs: Develop, implement and manage behavior change programs for behaviors related to the highest local priorities and key audiences.
  10. Element 3: Funding Coordination: Manage additional project and capacity funding processes to generate more operating and programmatic funds for ecosystem recovery. (i.e. 2011 Puget Sound Partnership’s Public Engagement, Awareness, and Behavior Change Grant (PEAB), NOAA Bay Watershed Education Training (B-WET), Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB), Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) grants, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP), etc.)
  11. Deliverables associated with each selected task item.
  12. This can be used as matching funds.

Grant specifics and deliverable should be negotiated using the Block Grant proposal selection process for Local ECO Networksor other approved process. All block grant proposals must be approved via email by Kristen Cooley, Education and Outreach Manager, before they are voted on and finalized by the Local ECO Network member organizations. This is to ensure all criteria have been met before being voted on.

Block Grant Proposal Selection Process:

Each Local ECO Network will decide on the use of block grant funds through a democratic process based on the criteria and provide an opportunity for all Local ECO Net members to have input. All decisions will be based upon a majority vote. A majority constitutes of over half the participating members. ECO Networks will select the actions that best advance local needs, priorities, and strategies within the Action Agenda framework and include projects and related deliverables associated with element 1 and 2 (element 3 is optional) from above.

Below is a recommended process from the Puget Sound Partnership. If another process is chosen it must be approved by the Education and Outreach Manager (Kristen Cooley).

Step 1:

Establish a temporary Task Force:

  • 3 – 5 individual members to review and rank proposals and make final recommendationsbased upon block grant elements and most effective use of funds.
  • Task Force members may propose and facilitate partnerships and/or make recommendations for combining or modifying proposals.
  • Must be active Local ECO Net members and be willing to accept the Task Force roles and commitments.
  • Task Force will disband at the end of the process.

Local ECO Network Coordinators will facilitate and attend the process but won’t officially be a Task Force member. Coordinator will work with Kristen Cooley as deemed necessary.

Step 2:

Develop Recommendations. Task Force members will meet in person, facilitated by the local ECO Net coordinator, to review and rank proposals, and create recommendations using the established criteria. Task Force members will have the ability to propose and facilitate partnerships and/or make recommendations for combining or modifying proposals. Recommendations do not have to be finalized at the meeting but must be finalized via email by December 3, 2009.

**Recommendations are required to get final approval via email by the Puget Sound Partnerships Education and Outreach Manager, Kristen Cooley prior to the vote.

Step 3:

Clarify Recommendations. The ECO Net coordinator will email the recommendations to all Local ECO Network members at least 3 days before the vote deadline. Clarifying questions and discussion occurs during this time. At least one task force member will be identified to answer questions.

Step 4:

Vote on Recommendations. The Recommendations will be voted upon via an online Survey Monkey form. There will be three choices for voting 1. Yes 2. No 3. I can live with this but it’s not my preferred recommendations. There must be a space for organizations to provide their comments.

**Each organization gets one vote (individuals are not allowed to vote because some organizations have more individual members than others).

Step 5:

Recommendations Implemented. TheNetwork Fund Manager creates sub-contracts and administers the implementation of the block grants funds based on the approved recommendations by the Local ECO Network members.

Suggested Process Timeline: This is just a suggested timeline. The only firm date is June 30, 2010 after which no funds can be awarded or work can be reimbursed.

November 1 to December 1

  • Open period for Local ECO Network organizations to develop and submit Block Grant proposal

December 1:

  • Task Force members finalized.
  • Network Fund Manager chosen and finalized.

December 1:

  • All proposals submitted to the Local ECO Network Coordinator.
  • Proposals forwarded to Task Force members.

December 1 to December 14:

  • Task Force gathers to develop recommendations.

December 17:

  • Recommendations emailed to Local ECO Network members for comments and clarifications.

December 11 to 30:

  • Comment and clarification period

December 30 to January 6:

  • Recommendations finalized and provided to Local ECO Net Coordinator for creation of Survey Monkey.

January 7:

  • Slate of Recommendations for use of block grants funds available to be voted upon (using Survey Monkey tool) by Local ECO Net members.

January 14:

  • Vote closes


  • Awarding of funds – keep in mind that most State grant contracts take a minimum of two weeks to finalize.

December to June 11

  • Project implementation

June 11, 2010:

  • Reporting on deliverables, accomplishments and lessons learned due to the Network Fund Manager. Pictures, digital versions of deliverables, etc. are encouraged.


  1. Proposal and deliverables addresses BOTH elements 1 & 2 (element 3 is optional)
  2. Work is done within the borders of the Puget Sound watershed
  3. Proposal only addresses environmental issues related to Puget Sound and particularly those issues highlighted in the Action Agenda.

Guiding Questions: These can be used by the Task Force to evaluate and prioritize proposals.

  1. Does the proposal meet the above criteria?
  2. Does it help implement section E.4 and related near term actions in the Action Agenda?
  3. Which particular section(s)?
  4. What is the estimated number of people that will be reached?
  5. What similar efforts have been done in the past or in other areas and does this proposal build on lessons learned from those experiences?
  6. How does this build on or enhance any existing efforts?
  7. Will it continue to have an effect or be carried forward beyond the end of the grant?


Please ensure some sort of evaluation is incorporated. The Partnerships Education and Outreach Manager, Kristen Cooley, is willing to work with Local ECO Networks to design evaluation techniques.


Collect output numbers

Conduct surveys


Puget Sound PartnershipEcosystem Recovery Coordinators will be available for consultation.


Hood Canal & Skagit Networks

Rebecca Ponzio:

King & Pierce Networks

Jason Mulvihill-Kuntz

Whatcom & San Juan Networks

Linda Lyshall

Whidbey & Snohomish-Camano Networks

Morgan Schneidler:

Straits Network

John Cambalik:

Mason & Thurston Networks

Roma Call:

Kitsap Network

John Meyer:

Questions? Please feel free to contact Kristen Cooley (360) 701-4604, with questions, or your local ECO Network coordinator.