Funding opportunity for natural hazard mitigation

Open space conservation projects may be eligible

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a notice of funding opportunity for its Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant.

The notice is available at  

These FEMA grant programs fund projects related to earthquakes, wildfires, floods, landslides and other natural hazards. 

They aim to reduce long term risk with projects like seismic retrofits, home wildfire ignition resistance materials, floodplain restoration and more.

Open space projects that provide hazard mitigation may be eligible. These grants are among the key conservation tools identified in PSRC’s new Regional Open Space Conservation Plan.

The mitigation projects must be identified in current local or tribal natural hazards mitigation plans.  

FEMA will offer a webinar for prospective applicants. Dates and times are:  

  • August 15,  11 a.m.
  • August 16, 9 a.m.
  • September 12, 11 a.m. 
  • September 13, 9 a.m. 

To connect, go to: Phone: 1-800-320-4330 Code: 338559#


A trip down memory lane....

The PSRC (aka PSCOG, Puget Sound Governmental Conference)was probably the second such regional organization formed in the United States, in 1957. The precipitating regional issue was--guess what!---the risk of seasonal flooding in the central Puget Sound river basins. The county commissioners from Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap Counties produced a regional map of such, and this became the baseline for a Project Open Space (a 30-volume report)and then the open space element of the Interim Regional Development Plan (1971). Of course, the timing was probably also driven by the emerging federal freeway system proposal with big bucks. But, in any even, hazards are an issue with a history in these here parts.

A few other snippits. In 1977 or so the PSCOG, working with a team of scientists from the University of Washington, completed the two-volume regional Hazardous Mitigation Study (or some similar title, with statistical data and all). The author was a rigorous ex-Boeing employee by the name of Doug Learman. I recall from him that, typically, this more-substantive work was listed on the Executive Board agenda for over twenty consecutive months, and yet never rose to the level of receiving even a moment's notice of clock time. This for a study that, among other things, predicted (!!) that a Mt. Saint Helen's eruption would take place in 1980. Statistically predicted! I seem to recall that subduction-zone events, a new term in those days, were also addressed.

And then there's the Mt. St. Helen's eruption itself. This event led to a layered and possibly interactive risk-assessment methodology (pyro-clastic flows, eruption, landslides, earthquake, etc.)which I suspect is still being used at the university level. Of course, this piece came out of the State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries...apparently the Washington State Department of Natural Resources couldn't rise to the occasion for an event in their playground.

On the regional level, we might recall the environmental impact statement for the PSCOG VISION 2020 project. Ancient history, now, but that EIS includes some regional language about natural hazards and at least a few words about regional "lifeline" facilities. Not a bad place to start, for a regional agency. Yes? The layers of local, state and federal documents were also sketchily identified.

Just some recollections from a geezer bureaucrat from 1011 Western Ave. who upon retirement became less of "a robot," as attested to below.

Thanks, Peter, for sharing your perspective!