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Cedar Bough

Riparian Grant Program

The Riparian Grant Program (RGP) is a voluntary and streamlined program designed for landowners who are interested in receiving support for planting riparian buffers. The program is designed with landowner needs in mind, and aims to increase opportunities for citizen engagement and stewardship for the recovery of salmon in Whatcom County.

RGP hosts a simple, easy to understand landowner agreement and more flexible buffer width than the CREP program.


  • Restoring & protecting critical fish habitat

  • Increasing & protecting water quality

  • Providing attractive borders

  • Stream bank stabilization

  • Increasing privacy

  • Increasing protection from noise & wind

  • Carbon sequestration

  • Creating travel corridors for a wide range of wildlife

  • Reducing erosion

  • Lowering water temperature

  • Invasive species removal

  • Creating shade

  • Active ecological stewardship

Salmon sideways underwater
WCD staff walking CREP field with landowner.


The planning for a project is done by professional staff at Whatcom Conservation District while consulting the landowner for insight into their specific needs and circumstances. 

The field work for a project, such as invasive species removal and restoration planting, is done by licensed professional contractors that work with the Conservation District. 


Salmon recovery starts with native plants. The salmon recovery program covers the cost of the plants, and pays for the contractors to perform the planting.

Hands planting evergreen tree
Three people checking new riparian planting. The Twin Sisters mountains are in the background


After successful approval and planting, the maintenance of added plants generally defaults to the contractor assigned to the site. Taking advantage of the limited time RGP is a great way to steward your land without breaking the bank or having to spend time and labor on the project yourself. 


Last year, the Washington Legislature approved $10 million to be used as incentive-based funding for salmon recovery projects in the first half of 2023. This is a landmark achievement and is the result of successful riparian projects, recovery teams, research, lobbying, voting, and citizen participation. 

Funding will help pay for outreach efforts, contractor work & equipment, and enrollment bonuses. 

Riparian buffer on a dairy farm.
Trees on a river bank.
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