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The Russell Family Foundation Awards Nearly $250,000 to Puget Sound Restoration Nonprofits

December 4, 2020 (Gig Harbor, Wash.) – The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) awarded grants totaling almost $250,000 to five Puget Sound nonprofits working to keep local waters clean and communities healthy. The five Puget Sound grants focus on improving the health of the region’s waters through various means including stormwater management, shoreline protection, volunteer training and ocean noise research.

The grants reflect TRFF’s mission of partnering with community for a stronger, more vibrant region – and are part of the Foundation’s Puget Sound program area, which is committed to supporting organizations that work towards a future of cleaner waters in the inlet.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the organizations steward place-based change in their communities with the support of this funding over the coming months and years,” said Fabiola Greenawalt, Program Officer at TRFF.

TRFF also awarded $100,000 in grant funding and $500,000 in loan capital to Business Impact Northwest (BIN), a nonprofit regional Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving under-banked small business entrepreneurs.

Since its beginnings in 2000, TRFF has invested nearly $35 million to support the health, protection and restoration of Puget Sound, supporting organizations, coalitions and collaboratives to drive meaningful change.

Details for the Puget Sound grants are as follows:

  • Oceans Initiative, General Operating Support: $80,000 (multi-year) Oceans Initiative is a team of scientists on a mission to protect marine life in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and to share their cutting-edge science to guide conservation action. This grant provides general programmatic support for the organization’s Ocean Noise Program, which studies the effects of ocean noise on whales and dolphins and guides conservation action. 
  • Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), ECOSS Clean Water Program: $60,000 ECOSS works directly with municipalities, businesses, neighborhoods and individuals to drive environmentally sustainable solutions. The organization works with partners to tackle environmental degradation in urban communities and contribute to Puget Sound water quality improvements. Its Clean Water Program includes a range of initiatives that address pollution prevention, stormwater management, environmental justice and permit compliance.
  • National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Habitat Stewards: $55,000 (multi-year) National Wildlife Federation (NWF) uses education and common-sense conservation policies to unite and empower people to protect the environment and natural resources. NWF’s Habitat Stewards program trains volunteers with practical strategies to promote water-wise gardening, which has been shown to play a role in promoting urban wildlife habitat conservation. This hands-on training will create local demonstration habitat garden installations to showcase how to use fewer chemicals, reduce runoff through water conservation and improve conditions for urban wildlife and local watersheds. 
  • Washington Association of Land Trusts (WALT), Enhancing Watershed Protection Through a Clean Water Initiative: $40,000 (multi-year) Washington Association of Land Trusts’ (WALT) goal is to provide long-term protection and sustainability of tens of thousands of acres of critical Puget Sound forestlands under public ownership and management. WALT, in partnership with Sustainable Northwest and Ecotrust, is developing the first phase of a Puget Sound pilot program as part of its new Clean Water Initiative which consists of a combination of policy development, education/outreach, and spatial analysis.
  • Friends of Pierce County, Saving Shorelines: $12,500 Friends of Pierce County educates and empowers people to preserve and restore the natural environment while promoting livable communities. The Saving Shorelines initiative seeks to address this uneven application of shoreline protection regulations, so more Puget Sound shoreline is protected from harmful development.


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About The Russell Family Foundation

Founded by George and Jane Russell, The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) provides a way for their extended family to make a quiet, positive impact in the community. TRFF does so by funding local, regional and global change through community investment in causes including resources for grassroots leaders, environmental sustainability and global peace. The organization applies their values of integrity, mutual trust, constructive communication, life-long learning and courage to all their work. With a place-based focus in the Puget Sound region, TRFF places particular emphasis on Pierce County, WA. For more information visit