Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation

The Conservancy announces a new Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation, applications are due April 30, 2019.  Conservancy Proposition 1 grants fund multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects. Priority project types include: water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration and urban greening. The solicitation document and application materials are posted here.

Request for Partnership Proposals/Letters of Interest for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program

The California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) seeks partners for joint applications for coastal wetlands acquisition and/or restoration projects on the California coast or in San Francisco Bay to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 round of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) National Coastal Wetlands Conservation (NCWC) Grant Program.  Only designated state agencies, including the Conservancy, are eligible to apply for NCWC grants.  However, the Conservancy can work in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, and certain non-profits to develop and submit NCWC proposals.  The Conservancy can pass through NCWC grant funds to its partners to implement projects.  While federal agencies can’t receive NCWC grant funds, NCWC-funded projects can be implemented on federal lands.

If your project is selected, the Conservancy will work with you to prepare a NCWC grant proposal, which may or may not be awarded funding by the USFWS. The Conservancy will not award state funding grants directly through this solicitation.  The USFWS selects proposals for award through a merit-based, national competitive review process. The deadline to submit NCWC proposals to the USFWS for FY 2020 has not been set but is expected to be in mid- to late June 2019.  If projects are awarded a NCWC grant, funding will be available for implementation as early as Spring 2020.  USFWS will need to meet its project-related environmental compliance requirements before making funding available. A full description of the NCWC program can be found here:  https://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/

NCWC provides grants of up to $1,000,000 for the protection and/or restoration of coastal wetlands.  Grants are for project implementation, although it is permissible to utilize a small amount (~15%) of the grant for biological surveys or monitoring, planning and permitting if those activities are closely tied to implementation. Projects should be ready for implementation in Summer 2020 or 2021.  Projects will be more competitive if the project area is primarily made up of jurisdictional wetlands.  The NCWC grant program requires a non-federal match of at least 25% of the total project cost, consisting of either cash or in-kind contributions, and additional points are awarded for match of up to 33% of the total project cost.  The Conservancy may be able to provide some or all of the required match, but project partners with their own match will increase the Conservancy’s capacity to carry out more projects.  The NCWC program also prioritizes projects that involve multiple partners providing a cash or in-kind contribution. All projects must ensure long-term (at least 20 years) conservation of coastal resources.

Eligible Activities include:

  1. Acquisition of a real property interest (e.g., conservation easement or fee title) in coastal lands or waters (coastal wetlands ecosystems) from willing sellers or partners for long-term conservation;
  2. Restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands ecosystems; or
  3. A combination of acquisition, restoration, and management.

Ineligible Activities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Projects that primarily benefit navigation, irrigation, flood control, or mariculture;
  2. Acquisition, restoration, enhancement or management of lands required as the result of a regulatory or decision-making process to mitigate habitat losses;
  3. Creation of wetlands where wetlands did not previously exist;
  4. Enforcement of fish and wildlife laws and regulations, except when necessary for the accomplishment of approved project purposes;
  5. Research;
  6. Planning as a primary project focus;
  7. Operations and maintenance, including long-term invasive species management;
  8. Acquisition and/or restoration of upper portions of watersheds where benefits to the coastal wetlands ecosystem are not significant and direct; and
  9. Projects providing less than 20 years of conservation benefits.

More information about NCWC grants, including the FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity, is available here: https://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/  Note that the FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity for the NCWC program has not yet been released.

 

Letter of Interest Submittal: To indicate your interest in partnering with the Conservancy on a NCWC proposal, please submit a brief (~2-4 page) letter of interest via email to joel.gerwein@scc.ca.gov. The letter should include the following information: 1) 1-2 sentence summary of proposed project, 2) description of the need for the project, 3) description of the proposed project and how it addresses the need, 4) estimated project cost and description of potential match, 5) approximate timeline for project implementation (include information of the status of project design and environmental review for restoration projects), 6) indicate whether you have a willing seller for acquisition projects, and 7) list of potential project partners and their roles in the project.  Include a map showing the project area and providing the approximate acreage of the project area and acreage of coastal wetlands within the project area. Letters of Interest must be received by 5 PM PST on February 21st, 2019.

 

Eligible Applicants: Non-federal public agencies, tribes, and certain nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding. To be eligible, a nonprofit organization must qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and its articles of incorporation must demonstrate that the organization’s purposes are consistent with Division 21 of the Public Resources Code, the Coastal Conservancy’s enabling legislation.

 

Questions: Questions about the application process and potential projects may be directed to Joel Gerwein, External Grants Manager, 510-286-4170, Joel.Gerwein@scc.ca.gov

Job Opening: Project Support Analyst

Love the California coast and the environment?  This might be the job for you!

The position is located in Oakland, CA.

Under the direction and guidance of a Regional Manager or Deputy Regional Manager, the incumbent supports projects on the coast of California and within coastal watersheds, or in the San Francisco Bay Area that protect and restore natural habitats and working lands, improve public access to the coast, and address the impacts of climate change on natural resources and communities. The incumbent assists the Regional Manager, Deputy Regional Manager and/or Project Development Analysts, with efforts to disburse state funding to projects to acquire regionally-significant lands, enhance watershed functions, plan and restore wetlands, plan and build trails and other recreational facilities, provide environmental education, and plan and implement climate adaptation projects. The incumbent works to solicit and review grant applications, review documents related to projects, write and present staff recommendations for Conservancy Board consideration of projects, develop grant agreements in cooperation with legal staff, ensure that all conditions of the grant agreement are met, review invoices, and monitor progress of projects. The incumbent works as part of a regional team at the Conservancy and works with grantees, partner agencies and organizations, tribes, and community groups.

Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency that undertakes and supports projects to protect, restore and enhance coastal resources; to promote resilience to climate change impacts; and to increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast. The Conservancy works along the entire length of California’s coast and within the watersheds of rivers and streams that extend inland from the coast. The Conservancy also works throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and the entire Santa Ana River watershed. The Conservancy awards and oversees grants to local governments, other state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and tribes, using various types of funding, including bond funds, federal funds, and mitigation fees. The Conservancy is a small agency of 64 dedicated, experienced employees who work collaboratively and creatively to achieve the Conservancy’s mission.  The Conservancy is located in Oakland, California, near BART.

If you are not currently on the Staff Services Analyst list, please take the online exam at:  https://www.jobs.ca.gov/JOBSGEN/7PB34.PDF

Full details on the position and how to apply can be found here: https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=138806 

Applications received without ALL the required items, will NOT receive further consideration for this position.  A copy of your transcripts or diploma is required, if you are on the Staff Services Eligibility list.

 

Explore the Coast Advisory Board – Call for Applications

Brown Girl Surf

The Coastal Conservancy is seeking members for an inaugural Explore the Coast Advisory Board to advise on the application process, review of applications, and ongoing administration of the grant program.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to improve the Explore The Coast grant program by harnessing the insights and experience of diverse stakeholders and to share decision-making power with the communities served by the program. Applications are due January 28, 2019 and can be found here: http://scc.ca.gov/files/2018/12/Explore-the-Coast-Advisory-Board-1.pdf 

Please contact Avra Heller on Avra.Heller (at) scc.ca.gov or (510) 286-1015 with any questions.

Coastal Conservancy Awards Nearly $4 million of state cap-and-trade proceeds going to protect communities from climate change

Coastal Conservancy Awards of $18.5 million in Grants for Coastal Protection and Restoration

Morro Rock

Morro Bay – This week, the Board of the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded $3.8 million for 12 projects in the Conservancy’s Climate Ready grant program, which supports projects to increase the resilience of coastal resources and communities to the impacts of climate change. These grants were part of a total of nearly $18.5 million in 19 grants for the protection and restoration of California’s coastal resources.

 

For the first time, this year’s Climate Ready grants were funded by state cap-and-trade proceeds, which are deposited in the state greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF) and administered by the California Air Resources Board. In order to meet GGRF’s legislative purposes, projects must facilitate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and, where feasible, include additional co-benefits, such as investment in disadvantaged communities and economic, environmental and public health benefits to the state.  86% of the $3.8 million awarded is going to projects that are located in and benefit disadvantaged communities.

 

Also approved was $5.7 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to place dredged sediment from Redwood City Harbor at wetland restoration sites on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. The Corps dredges approximately 1.5 million to 2 million cubic yards of sediment each year in San Francisco Bay, maintaining federal navigation channels for shipping. The sediment dredged by the Corps must be placed at permitted placement sites, such as the Deep Ocean Disposal Site or In-Bay disposal sites, or at beneficial use sites.  Many of the restorable diked baylands have subsided and need sediment to raise their elevations or to create transition zones prior to tidal restoration. This funding will enable sediment from Redwood City Harbor to be placed at restoration sites in Bay as the Corps requires a nonfederal sponsor to pay the incremental cost above the cost for In-Bay disposal to place the sediment at a beneficial use site.

 

“Both the GGRF-funded Climate Ready grants and the Beneficial Re-use of Sediment project are great examples of innovation in conservation.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy. “We are finding new funding streams and new technologies to accelerate our protection of coastal resources. In the race against climate change and sea level rise, we are using every tool we have to safeguard our irreplaceable natural resources.”

 

Additionally, the Conservancy authorized $118,000 to Sonoma State University and the Friends of the Sea Otter to implement two separate projects to aid in recovery of the southern sea otter.  Sonoma State University will undertake an analysis of the potential number of sea otters that Drakes Estero and Tomales Bay could support, and Friends of the Sea Otter will continue its public education programs focused on reducing stress on otters induced by interactions with humans.  These grants are funded through a voluntary tax check-off program.

 

The full lists of projects considered and funded at the December Board meeting can be found here:

http://scc.ca.gov/2018/11/21/coastal-conservancy-public-meeting-in-morro-bay-december-06/

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. The Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that supports projects to protect coastal resources and increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast.

 

Since its founding, the Conservancy has:

  • Funded 2,400 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Protected 390,000 acres of coastal lands through acquisition of fee title and conservation easements.
  • Restored 33,000 acres of habitat.
  • Built 200 new coastal accessway and 210 miles of new trails.
  • Put $1.3 billion to work for conservation projects, and leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

 

The GGRF-funded Climate Ready grants are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov

Explore the Coast Overnight Assessment Public Draft Released

Beach Cottage at Crystal Cove

The California State Coastal Conservancy is proud to announce the first draft of the Explore the Coast Overnight Assessment.

The draft assessment can be found here: Explore the Coast Overnight Assessment Draft

In 2017, the California Legislature passed AB 250, which directs the Conservancy to create a Lower-Cost Coastal Accommodations (LCCA) program, publicly known as the Explore the Coast Overnight Program. This program aims to create more opportunities for all Californians to stay overnight at the coast. This assessment on LCCAs includes a discussion on existing supply and demand for LCCAs, categories of LCCAs, feasibility and considerations, criteria for prioritizing LCCA projects, a description of funding sources and financing mechanisms, and a list of potential LCCA projects.

More information on the Explore the Coast Overnight Program can be found here: http://scc.ca.gov/projects/explore-the-coast-overnight/

The Conservancy would like to invite you to read and submit your comments on the Explore the Coast Overnight Assessment by Friday, January 25, 2019 via any of the following methods:

  • Email: etcovernight (at) scc.ca.gov
  • Fax: (510) 286 – 0470
  • Mail a hard copy to:

State Coastal Conservancy
C/O Rodrigo Garcia
1515 Clay St. Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94612

The comments received will be reviewed and may be integrated into the assessment, which will then be presented at the State Coastal Conservancy’s board meeting on March 14, 2019. The public board meeting is planned to take place at the Lakeside Room at Fairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd, Riverside, CA 92501. More details about the board meeting will be posted to the State Coastal Conservancy’s website, scc.ca.gov, as it gets closer to March 14.

Thank you for your time and your help expanding opportunities for all Californians to stay on the coast!

 

Proposition 68 Draft Guidelines

The Coastal Conservancy’s Prop 68 Program Guidelines are available for public review and comment. These guidelines explain the process and criteria that the Conservancy will use to solicit applications, evaluate proposals, and award grants with Prop 68 funds under the Conservancy’s programs.

Comments are due on November 12, 2018.  Comments should be emailed to grants@scc.ca.gov.

Coastal Conservancy Approves over $17.5 million in Grants for Coastal Restoration, Protection and Access

September 10, 2018 – Last week, the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy approved 17 grants totaling over $17.5 million for restoration, protection and public access projects along the California coast.

Notably, among those was an authorization of $9.75 million to the Wildlands Conservancy for the acquisition of approximately 1,390 acres along the Santa Margarita River, San Diego County, to establish the Santa Margarita River Trail Preserve. The Preserve will be protected from development and the trails will remain open and accessible for the general public as they have been used for decades. The Santa Margarita River offers one of the best opportunities to re-establish a steelhead trout population in coastal Southern California and, by securing conservation of the property, this preserve will provide natural resource protection and wildlife connectivity between the adjacent open space properties.

The Board also approved $825,000 in Explore the Coast grants to 27 nonprofit organizations and public agencies for projects that facilitate and enhance the public’s opportunities to explore the California coast throughout the State.  This is the Conservancy’s fifth round of Explore the Coast grants.  We have now allocated over $5 million to 176 projects that get more Californians out enjoying our coastal resources.  Learn more about our Explore the Coast grants in this video:

 

More information and a full list of projects can be found here: http://scc.ca.gov/2018/08/24/coastal-conservancy-public-meeting-in-eureka-september-06-2018/

Study: California’s Coast Highly Vulnerable To Sea Level Rise But Coastal Habitats Could Still Make It, If We Act

55% of current coastal habitat area in California could be lost to rising seas

San francisco, CA — A new study from The Nature Conservancy and the California State Coastal Conservancy, Conserving California’s Coastal Habitat: A Legacy and a Future with Sea Level Rise finds that most of the total area of California’s coastal habitats, including beaches, marshes, and rocky intertidal areas famous for tide pools, are highly vulnerable to sea level rise. However, the study also provides a roadmap for California on how to take action so there will be as much coastal habitat statewide as there is today, even in the face of sea level rise and other stressors.

 

This study is the first of its kind to assess the sea level rise vulnerability of all coastal habitats along the entire coast of California, including the San Francisco Bay and Delta. Some habitats are more vulnerable than others. For example, beaches at the base of cliffs may be drowned by the ocean, habitats surrounded by developed land may not have the room they need to move inland as sea levels rise. But, with proper planning, other locations that aren’t coastal habitat today could be conserved and adapted to become habitat in the future. The report is also the first to provide scientists and planners a set of strategies to adapt areas up and down the coast so that habitat lost to sea level rise in one location can be reestablished somewhere else.

 

Without taking action, the prognosis is troubling. The study quantifies the vulnerability of 40 different habitat types, finding that 55% of current habitat by total area across the state is highly vulnerable to five feet of sea level rise. That includes 60% of California’s iconic beaches, 58% of rocky intertidal habitat, 58% of marshes, and 55% of tidal flats. In addition, sea level rise will further stress populations of 39 rare, threatened, or endangered species, and 41,000 acres of public conservation lands are projected to be drowned by subtidal waters.

 

“It’s no secret that sea level rise will impact our coastline and coastal habitats, but now we know how much and where,” said Sarah Newkirk, Senior Coastal Project Director at The Nature Conservancy. “Our science shows that if we take purposeful action now, there is reason to think our children and grandchildren could still have California beaches and healthy coastal habitats to enjoy just as we do today.”

 

The study highlights key conservation strategies that would allow California to maintain much of its coastal habitat into the future and maps where these actions might be most usefully deployed, providing on-the ground guidance for regional planners, agencies, land-managers, conservationists, and other stakeholders.

 

These actions include:

  • Maintaining existing protected coastal habitats that are already resilient to sea level rise
  • Protecting resilient coastal habitats that are not yet managed for conservation
  • Helping some vulnerable habitats keep pace with rising water by adding sediments
  • Conserving and adapting some non-habitat areas to habitat as sea level rises
  • Adapting vulnerable human infrastructure like roads and bridges to allow habitats to move inland or natural processes to be maintained

 

Maintaining a healthy coast preserves the services coastal habitats provide for people such as protection from storm surges and rising seas, improved water quality, carbon storage, fisheries and recreation.

 

“For the first time, we have a clear picture of just how vulnerable California’s coastal habitats are to sea level rise,” said Mary Small, Deputy Executive Officer for the State Coastal Conservancy. “Californians treasure our coast, and this report highlights the urgency of implementing forward-looking strategies to protect these precious resources.”

 

Conserving California’s Coastal Habitat is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy and California State Coastal Conservancy more than two years in the making. It adds to an existing body of California-specific vulnerability analyses, which are often regionally focused and/or mainly consider aspects of human vulnerability. The assessment will be used to guide future work at both The Nature Conservancy and the State Coastal Conservancy to maintain and improve upon California’s legacy of conservation investment along the coast and will provide state agencies and other stakeholders with the science foundation necessary to make the decisions today that protect the values of the coast for tomorrow.

 

The study can be found here: http://coastalresilience.org/coastalassessment

 

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The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

 

The California State Coastal Conservancy is a bond funded State agency established in 1976 to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, help people access and enjoy the outdoors, and sustain local economies along the length of California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay. www.scc.ca.gov

June 2 is National Trails Day on the California Coastal Trail

Saturday, June 2, 2018, is National Trails Day!  We hope you’ll celebrate the day on the California Coastal Trail.  The CCT has something for everyone, from sandy beaches to windswept bluffs.  It’s a great spot for a hike or a stroll, or just to enjoy the view.

You can find trail information and maps on the Coastwalk page here: http://www.californiacoastaltrail.info/cms/pages/main/index.html  And some great inspiration in the KCET series of short films on trail segments here: https://www.kcet.org/shows/california-coastal-trail

We invite our partners to plan events along the California Coastal Trail for National Trails Day.  The American Hiking Society has compiled resources to help plan and promote events, available here: https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/host-information/

You can also register your event with the American Hiking Society so more people can find it!

If you do plan an event, email us on  explorethecoast@scc.ca.gov so we can help spread the word on our social media channels.

And tag #ExploreTheCoast and #NationalTrailsDay to promote and share your adventure!

Have fun on the California Coastal Trail!

Events along the California Coastal Trail for National Trails Day:

San Mateo, Mori Point – Spend the morning brushing overgrown trails at Mori Point with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, home to the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake and California Red-legged frog.  Time: 10 am-1 pm, ages 9 and up are welcome. http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/volunteer-events/special-events/national-trails-day.html

Marin, Tennessee Valley – Come out to Tennessee Valley for a day of hard work maintaining trails and restoring habitat for the endangered Mission Blue butterfly with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Time: 9 am-1 pm, ages 14 and up are welcome. http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/volunteer-events/special-events/national-trails-day.html

Half Moon Bay – Join the Coastside Land Trust at the Seymour Bridge located south of the Poplar Beach parking lot at the west end of Poplar Street in Half Moon Bay. We will introduce you to the Coastal Trail Phase II through Wavecrest to Redondo Beach Road. Contact:  650-726. 5056 yvonne@coastsidelandtrust.org   coastsidelandtrust.org

Imperial Beach – Join the San Diego National Wildlife Refuges in strolling the Bayside Birding & Walking Trail, on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy and a part of the California Coastal Trail, this trail is a special one to celebrate. Come find out why! While you’re there, check out the new migratory bird mural on the “Flamingo Trail” facing the refuge. Total mileage is 1 mile (1/2-mile down, and 1/2-mile back). Bring binoculars if you have them, and be sure to wear a hat/visor for sun protection. We will provide extra binoculars and spotting scopes. Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/438836693241246/