The Promoting Resilient Operation for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost Saving Transportation (PROTECT) program provides funding to help make surface transportation more resilient to climate change and natural disasters.

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA)/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the PROTECT program to help make surface transportation more resilient to natural hazards, including climate change, sea level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters through support of planning activities, resilience improvements, community resilience and evacuation routes and at-risk costal infrastructure.

PROTECT funds eligible activities include:

  • Planning Activities
  • Resilience Improvements
  • Community Resilience and Evacuation Route activities
  • At-Risk Coastal Infrastructure activities

Final Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 PROTECT funds are provided to WSDOT’s fish passage projects. FFY 2023-26 funds are provided to local agency fish passage projects selected through the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board (FBRB) and further coordinated with WSDOT Local Programs to ensure eligibility.

The federal participation rate is 80 percent.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (IIJA/BIL) PROTECT - (federal funding)

Call for projects - Closed

Closed February 16, 2024

Available Funding:

$50 Million

PROTECT Program Purpose:

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) establishes the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program to help make surface transportation more resilient to natural hazards, including climate change, sea level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters through support of planning activities, resilience improvements, community resilience and evacuation routes, and at-risk costal infrastructure.


All proposed projects must meet Title 23, U.S.C.; and the following criteria of the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board (FBRB), see Manual 22 for details:

  • The goal of the FBRB is to identify and expedite the removal of barriers to anadromous fish that are the result of state and local roads and highways.
  • All projects must correct a fish passage barrier on a salmon-bearing (anadromous) stream and be a barrier to fish as defined by WDFW’s 2019 Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization Manual. Partial or total fish passage barriers are both eligible; however, total barriers will receive a higher score.
  • Projects must meet the required fish passage design criteria in Washington Administrative Code 220-660, the recommendations of the Water Crossing Design Guidelines (2013), and the expectations of the FBRB grant program.
  • If there is a total barrier (0% passable) downstream of the project, there must be a documented commitment provided for it to be corrected within five years.
  • There must be documented current or historic anadromous species use at the project location.

In addition, in order to be eligible for PROTECT funding the following eligibility criteria must be met or significant progress made towards the following requirements by September 2024:

  1. Certified sponsor, in this case a city or a county government;
  2. Crossing must be city- or county-owned (privately owned crossings are ineligible);
  3. Have completed or will complete the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process;
  4. Right-Of-Way (ROW) certification prior to funding obligation; and
  5. Have a construction project with funding request of $2M or greater.

PROTECT Fiscal Year 2024 FBRB Call for Projects:

On September 15, 2022, the Washington State Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee (JTC)
decided to allocate $75m of federal-aid highway funding to local fish passage projects over four years. The FBRB is tasked with facilitating the project selection process and working with Washington Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Local Programs to ensure that project selection criteria is consistent with the federal requirements. FY23 was the first year of this funding opportunity and projects were derived from the FBRB’s 2023-25 ranked and approved project list. This current Call for Projects is the next step to obligating the remainder of the available funding (~$50M).
There are some advantages to applying for the PROTECT funding. The PROTECT funding is on-hand and ready to obligate now, as soon as requirements are met. The match requirement for this funding is 20% but toll credits can cover the match, resulting in no match needed by the local government sponsor. If PROTECT funding is obligated to your project, you will work directly with WSDOT’s Local Programs for project coordination and reimbursement.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information:

This material can be made available in an alternate format by emailing the Office of Equity and Civil Rights at or by calling toll free, 855-362-4ADA (4232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711.

Title VI Notice to Public:

It is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights (OECR). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OECR’s Title VI Coordinator at (360) 705-7090.

Application form

A completed application form (PDF 87KB) is required and must be submitted electronically by e-mail by 11:59 PM on Friday, February 16th, 2024, to as — paper submittals will not be accepted.

166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.