Erosion Management Program

Erosion rates are a top concern throughout the Chehalis Basin. We use natural, proven techniques to slow erosion that provide protection from flooding and benefit aquatic habitat.

The Erosion Management Program (EMP) is an integrated program that promotes the use of natural materials in bank protection design to simultaneously maintain and improve stream and riparian habitats while also slowing erosion in the Chehalis Basin. EMP serves public and private landowners who are willing to work with a local project sponsor (e.g., Conservation District) to address either urgent or long-term erosion concerns that threaten public infrastructure, private residential structures, commercial structures, or agricultural land.

Photo of a blue house set along a river bank

Projects the EMP Funds Include:

  1. Urgent/Imminent Projects that address erosion problems posing an immediate threat to eligible structures or agricultural land in the near term and provide habitat benefits.
  2. Proactive Reach-scale Projects address erosion problems that do not require immediate action, but address reach-scale erosion concerns for multiple landowners and provide substantial habitat benefits.
  3. Technical Advancement Studies or Projects support basin jurisdictions with resources to improve their land use management in erosion hazard areas or helps them monitor and track projects, and/or supports landowners with educational materials.

Apply for EMP Funding

OCB accepts urgent/imminent erosion project applications on a rolling basis to ensure action can be taken quickly to prevent substantial damage. OCB hopes to notify Urgent/Imminent Project applicants of its funding decision within three weeks of receiving the application. Projects that can be fully bioengineered with habitat benefits are preferred, and funding will be based on current availability.

There is an annual grant process for Proactive Reach-scale project applications. Proactive Reach-scale project applications are due November 1, 2023. In addition to meeting the EMP eligibility criteria, projects are evaluated by the EMP Technical Review Team to rank the projects based on their overall benefits to landowners and habitat. OCB intends to notify proactive reach-scale applicants of its funding decision by the end of 2023.

How Does the Application/Selection Process Work?


Project Sponsor and landowner develop project concept and fill out EMP application


Project Sponsor submits application to OCB


EMP Technical Review Team reviews application, conducts site visit (and evaluates proactive reach-scale projects)


OCB determines whether a project is funded and notifies applicants of its decision


Sponsors of funded projects sign contract and begin work

What Is EMP Planning for Its Technical Advancement Work in the 2023-25 Biennium?

OCB is developing an Erosion Management Guidebook for landowners. This guidebook will provide information about erosion processes, how to assess erosion concerns at a site, potential bioengineering techniques, and planning and permitting a project.

Get More Information

If you’d like to learn more about the Erosion Management Program, please contact your local Conservation District representative!

Grays Harbor Conservation District
Anthony Waldrop

Lewis County Conservation District
Bob Amrine

Thurston County Conservation District
Katrinka Hibler