Standard Conservation Project Description

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Diagram showing project components distributed over parcels over time, making the definition of a "project" ambiguous and dependent on the proposal

Each funding program requires similar but varied grant applications and large restoration projects can require tens of applications to state and federal programs. This repetitive, largely redundant effort to allocate funding wastes local project management capacity and delays Puget Sound ecosystem recovery.

Redundant application processes are a symptom of the current state of our state and federal planning and funding system. To secure funding through a project lifecycle, project management staff repeatedly work to describe actions to win unique competitions. Each successful application results in a unique contract with requirements, and so variation in applications results in an accumulating administrative burden.

Written project descriptions provide diverse functions in the funding process. They enable projects to get funds necessary for completion, are the basis for transparent contractual controls, allow for evaluation of strategy, and support storytelling. Over the project lifecycle, some aspects of project description remain relatively stable, while others aspects may change radically. Redundant production and review of complex project descriptions is driven by the tension between the number of funders who each need to show transparency and fair competition, change in project scope, schedule and budget, and project developers who must build a complete funding package so we can realize ecosystem benefits.


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