About the Conservancy

The Coastal Conservancy is a State agency, established in 1976, that protects and improves natural lands and waterways, helps people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and sustains local economies along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy is non-regulatory and achieves its goals by joining forces with local communities, nonprofit organizations, other government agencies, businesses, and private landowners. It works along the entire length of California’s coast, within the watersheds of rivers and streams that extend inland from the coast, and throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

The Conservancy develops and supports projects that protect and improve natural, scenic, and recreational resources that underpin local economies and improve residents’ quality of life. These projects:

  • protect the natural and scenic beauty of the coast,
  • improve water quality and wildlife habitats,
  • help people get to and enjoy beaches, parks, and natural lands,
  • keep farms and timberlands in production,
  • revitalize working waterfronts, and
  • help communities prepare for climate change.

The Conservancy has played a critical role in shaping California’s coastal landscape as we know it today. It has completed more than 1,500 projects and is actively engaged in hundreds more. Its projects implement statewide resource plans, including the California Water Action Plan, the State Wildlife Action Plan, and many others.

The primary source of Conservancy funding has been general obligation bonds approved by California’s voters. The Conservancy has put more than $1.3 billion to work and has leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

The Coastal Conservancy is one of ten State conservancies within the California Natural Resources Agency. Its work complements that of the California Coastal Commission and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which regulate land use along the coast and around San Francisco Bay.

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