Currently, DRCC/TAGâ€™s core work of community engagement is facing a serious financial challenge.Â This work includes staffing the community around cleanup issues, tours of the Duwamish River, regular communication with the community, environmental restoration volunteer events, and the Duwamish River Festival.Â With the current situation, we will need to reduce this work in the near future.
Be part of restoring this core work! Â We launched the â€śRestore the Flowâ€ť individual campaign to help us begin addressing our gap in funding.Â Every donation – $5, $20, $100, $500 â€“ is important and valuable!Â The first $20,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by generous anonymous donors.
How did we get here?
Throughout our history, our core work has been primarily funded through Public Participation Grants (PPG) funded through the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) program. These grants are designed to engage communities in cleanup decisions across Washington State.
In August 2015, we were notified that we were among the groups to receive funding through PPG, contracts have been delayed for a number of reasons. In January 2016, DRCC/TAG signed a contract with Department of Ecology to move forward with the project. Â However, with a significant funding shortfall facing all MTCA-funded efforts (including active cleanups, PPG grants, and many other efforts),Â the grants were eliminated. Â (Most recent information available here.)
Here is a look at what has unfolded over the last 8 months:
- August 2015:Â DRCC/TAG was notified that we were selected to receive PPG Funding with the expectation that a contract would be forthcoming. These contracts would allow groups to â€śback-chargeâ€ť for work starting July 1, 2015
- At the end of October, with no updates on the contract, all groups that had submitted PPG applications were notified that they would be re-reviewed because the Department of Ecologyâ€™s process had been questioned.
- December 22, 2015: The new list of those receiving funding was released. DRCC/TAG was #1 on that list and we were expectant!
- January 2016: We finalized a contract with Department of Ecology and submitted a signed version. Almost the same day, we were told that all PPG contract negotiations and payments were being halted because of a proposed bill in the legislature to eliminate PPG funding to address the shortfall in the MTCA funding.
- While the particular proposed bill was voted down, the legislature continued to debate whether or not PPG will be included in the final state budget. Â The final budget was released on March 28, 2016 – PPG was not included in this budget.
Despite these delays and uncertainties, DRCC/TAG has continued the important work of community engagement.Â We made the decision to take this risk because this work is at the core to what we do, who we are, and the reason that this organization exists. This decision significantly impacted our General Fund â€“ the fund that is not tied to project specific deliverables.Â But we can no longer turn to this to address the funding gap.Â Because of this, DRCC/TAG is making the difficult decision to reduce its core work for the near future.
Help us begin restoring this core work by being part of the â€śRestore the Flowâ€ť campaign!Â Your continued support and partnership is essential!