Wetlands Purchase - The California Nature
Conservancy combined private money with an $8
million CWSRF loan to purchase 12,362 acres of
rangeland in southeast Sacramento County. The
Conservancy was able to protect the rangeland
from vineyard and residential development. A
conservation easement to prevent future develop-
ment has been placed on the land.  This is the
first time a CWSRF loan has been used specifi-
cally to purchase property to preserve wetlands,
which include vernal pools, and riparian habitat.

Challenges Ahead

Currently, most states use their CWSRF resources
to finance large municipal wastewater systems.
We need to work with them to increase their
familiarity with wetlands issues and experience in
issuing loans to those interested in protecting or
restoring wetlands. A few states have legislative
barriers to funding non-public entities which could
restrict the variety of fundable wetlands projects at

EPA has been encouraging states to open their
CWSRFs to the widest variety of water quality
projects and to use their CWSRFs to fund the
highest priority projects based on water quality
problems. If you are interested in wetlands
protection and are interested in the CWSRF
program, call the CWSRF program coordinator.
You should gain an understanding of how the
program  works in your state, what programs are
eligible to receive the loans, and participate in the
annual process that determines which projects are
For more information, contact your state
CWSRF program, listed below:

  Washington Department of Ecology
  Brian Howard (m/s PV-11)
  Olympia, WA 98504
  Phone:  (360) 407-6510
  e-mail:  brho461@ecy.wa.gov

  Oregon Department of Environmental
  Rick Walters
  811 S.W. Sixth Avenue
  Portland, OR  97204-1390
  Phone:  (503) 229-6814
  e-mail:  watters.rick@deq.state.or.us

  Idaho Division of Environmental Quality
  Bill Jerrel
  1410 N. Hilton
  Boise, ID 83706
  Phone:  (208) 373-0400
  e-mail:  wjerrel@deq.state.id.us

  Alaska Department of Environmental
  Mike Burns
  555 Cordova Street
  Anchorage, AK 99501-2617
  Phone:  (907) 269-7502
  e-mail:  mike_burns@envircon.state.ak.us
                                                                                                    EPA 910-R-01-001
                    Clean Water
                    State Revolving Fund
United States
Environmental Protection
Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle WA 98101-1128
Wetlands with
the Clean  Water
State  Revolving

With the serious threats to wetland resources across the country, it is important to take advantage of all the programs that can provide funding for
wetlands protection.  The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is one of those programs.
What is the Clean Water State Revolving
Fund program and how does it work?

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program
(CWSRF) was created to help address growing
needs for water pollution control funding. EPA
provides grants to the states to provide local
assistance for water quality projects according to
the state's program and priorities.  The CWSRF
programs work like banks.

Federal and state contributions are used to "set-up"
the banks and this money is used to make low or
no-interest loans for important water quality
projects.  The loans are issued at below market
rates (0% to less than market). Funds are then
repaid to  the CWSRF over the term of the loan,
which may be as long as twenty years. Repaid
funds are then placed back into the CWSRF to
fund other water quality projects.

How much money does the CWSRF
program have?

The CWSRFs have in excess of $34 billion in
assets and have issued more than $30 billion in
loans since 1988. Right now, the CWSRFs are
funding over $3 billion worth of water quality
projects each year. That's more than 200 times
the available EPA grant funding for the wetlands

Loans vs. Grants

Many people believe they would rather have a
grant than a loan. However, a loan may be a
better deal. Why?

No cash up-front.  Most grant programs require
significant cost shares (40% or more).  A CWSRF
loan  can cover 100% of project costs with no cash
up front.

Significant Cost Savings. CWSRF loans provide
significant cost savings over the life of the loan.
A 0% CWSRF loan will cost approximately 50%
less than the same project financed by a commer-
cial loan at 7.5%.  Additionally, a 0% CWSRF
loan  is equivalent to receiving a 50% grant (where
the other  50% (match) is financed at market rate).
Streamlined Federal Requirements.  Financing
a project with a CWSRF loan means fewer federal
requirements than any other federal grant. The
state programs are experienced in helping appli-
cants through the loan application process and
providing technical assistance.

Where do wetland projects fit  into the

The CWSRF has three major categories of eligible
projects: publicly-owned wastewater treatment
facilities, nonpoint source projects (publicly or
privately owned), and estuary management
projects (publicly or privately owned).

Wetland projects typically fall under approved
state nonpoint source management plans or are
included in national estuary management plans.
Constructed wetlands may be considered wastewa-
ter or storm water management projects and are
also eligible for funding.  CWSRF fundable
projects can include: wetlands restoration and
enhancement, exotic species management, wet-
lands protection through land-use setbacks or
conservation easements, wetland purchases and
nonpoint source best management practices, and
constructed wetlands for treatment of storm water
or wastewater.

How do CWSRF users  repay the loans?

Though finding a source of repayment may be
challenging, it need not be burdensome. Many
users of the CWSRF have demonstrated a high
level of creativity in developing sources of
repayments.  The source of  repayment  doesn't
need to come from the project itself. Some
possible sources include: fees paid by developers
on other lands; recreational  fees (fishing license,
entrance fees); dedicated portions of local, county,
or state taxes or fees; donations or dues made to
nonprofit groups; and storm water management
fees or wastewater user charges.
What are some examples of using
CWSRF for Wetlands Protection?

Wetland Enhancement and Expansion - Des
Moines, Washington is using CWSRF to purchase,
enhance, and expand a degraded wetland and
construct two sediment trap/pond facilities. This
project enables the City to meet two goals it has
struggled to achieve: flood protection, and
wetlands preservation and enhancement. When
complete, area storm water will enter one of two
sediment traps, and flow over low containment
berms into the adjacent expanded wetlands. The
majority of sediment and associated heavy metals
will be removed in the sediment traps.  Enhanced
wetlands will act as a final filter, further removing
additional impurities and helping protect against
floods. The water will exit the wetlands through
artificial outlets that lead to Barnes Creek, which
eventually flows into Puget Sound.  This
$262,500 project is part of the National Estuary

Wetlands Construction - Oregon has used
CWSRF funds for several wetland projects. In
Lakeview, CWSRF is funding a project to expand
and upgrade a lagoon wastewater treatment
system. This project includes constructing a
wetland to improve the natural treatment system.
The CWSRF also funded the construction of a
wetland in Mount Angel to polish effluent from
another lagoon treatment system.

Wetlands Purchase - Port Townsend, Washing-
ton was able to meet storm water management
objectives and preserve wetlands by obtaining
funding from CWSRF to purchase the Winona
Wetlands. This wetland acts as a critical storm
water basin for the area and provides valuable
wildlife habitat. Potential development of the area
threatened the wetlands and would have resulted in
storm water management problems.  By purchas-
ing the wetlands, the City was able to protect a
natural storm water management system as well as
a wildlife refuge. The City purchased 6.5 acres in
Phase I and is planning to borrow additional
CWSRF funds for a Phase II purchase of nine
acres. This $400,000 project is part of the
National Estuary Program. A portion of the
City's storm water utility fee from households is
being used to repay the CWSRF.