Coastal Conservancy Grants

Lake Merritt Sailboat Center

Photo: Mary Small

The Coastal Conservancy helps achieves its mission through awarding grants to partner organizations to undertake projects that further its goals. For more information about the kind of work the Coastal Conservancy engages in, please see: Conservancy Projects.


The Conservancy may awards grants to public agencies and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations whose purposes are consistent with the Conservancy’s enabling legislation – Division 21 of the California Public Resources Code. Projects must also be consistent with the Conservancy’s Project Selection Criteria.

Current Grant Opportunities

The Coastal Conservancy accepts grant applications on an ongoing basis. Grants are available to government agencies and nonprofit organizations and funding availability is subject to legislative appropriation.  A list of current opportunities is here.

The general grant application and instructions are posted here.  Information about Proposition 1 grant rounds is posted here.

Community Engagement increases the long-term success of most projects.  Tips for meaningful Community Engagement can be found here.

What the Conservancy Funds

The Conservancy funds projects that help it achieve the goals and objectives of its Strategic Plan (2018-2022). The goals are listed below; refer to the plan for additional detail on specific objectives. Projects that help achieve multiple objectives will receive higher priority for funding. The Conservancy will fund most stages of a project including: pre-project feasibility studies, property acquisition, planning (for large areas or specific sites) and design, environmental review, construction, monitoring, and, in limited circumstances, maintenance.

  • Develop the California Coastal Trail as a major recreational amenity, tourist attraction, and alternative transportation system.
  • Expand the system of coastal public accessways, open-space areas, parks, and inland trails that connect to the coast.
  • Revitalize coastal and inland waterfronts that provide significant public benefits and promote sustainable economic development.
  • Expand environmental education efforts to improve public understanding, use, and stewardship of coastal resources.
  • Protect significant coastal resource properties, including farmland, rangeland, and forests.
  • Enhance biological diversity, improve water quality, habitat, and other natural resources within coastal watersheds.
  • Enhance coastal working lands, including farmland, rangeland, and forests.
  • Enhance the resiliency of coastal communities and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change.
  • Improve public access, recreation, and educational facilities and programs within the Santa Ana River Parkway.
  • Protect and enhance natural habitats and connecting corridors, watersheds, scenic areas, and other open-space resources of regional importance in the Santa Ana River watershed.
  • Identify and prioritize long-term resource and recreational goals for the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Protect and enhance natural habitats and connecting corridors, watersheds, scenic areas, and other open-space resources of regional importance in the Bay Area.
  • Improve public access, recreation, and educational facilities and programs in and around San Francisco Bay, along the coast, the ridgelines, in urban open spaces, and natural areas.
  • Protect Bay Area working lands and support farmers and ranchers in implementing stewardship of the natural resources on their lands.
  • Provide leadership, partnership, and assistance to organizations engaged in conservation and public access within the Conservancy’s jurisdiction.
  • Ensure that the work of the Conservancy promotes environmental equity and justice.
  • Implement a sustainable funding strategy for the Conservancy’s projects and programs.
  • Organize the Conservancy’s structure to align staff resources with the Conservancy’s sources of funding and Strategic Plan objectives.
  • Ensure full transparency and accountability, including external communications about the Conservancy’s purposes, actions, and accomplishments.

Applying for a Conservancy Grant

Information on applying for a Conservancy grant can be found on our Grant Application page. The grant application is provided  in two formats:   Word 2007 (.docx)   or   Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Before applying for a grant from the Coastal Conservancy, it is strongly recommended that you contact the manager of the region where your project is located (see list below). If your project concept meets our criteria and would be a priority under our Strategic Plan, then Conservancy staff will help your organization develop a proposal for Conservancy funding.

Grant News

  • Coastal Conservancy Awards $12.5 Million for Coastal Restoration and Protection Projects
    SACRAMENTO – Today, the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy awarded over $12.5 million in grants for the protection and restoration of California’s coast and the San Francisco Bay.  Grantees included public agencies, cities and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations whose purposes are consistent with the Conservancy’s enabling legislation. Among the grants awarded were $3.9 million to […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Awards...)
  • Climate Ready Grant Round
    The Conservancy announces a new Climate Ready grant solicitation; applications are due July 1, 2019. Climate Ready grants fund nature-based solutions for climate adaptation. This round will fund planning and implementation of managed retreat, natural shoreline infrastructure, living shorelines and habitat enhancement projects. This round is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and projects must facilitate greenhouse […] (Read more on Climate Ready Grant...)
  • SF Bay Area Prop 68 Draft Climate Adaptation Grant Guidelines
    Prop 68 provides funding to assist coastal communities with adaptation to climate change, including $14 million allocated to the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program of the Coastal Conservancy (“Prop 68 SF Bay Climate Funds”). This chapter of Prop 68 requires that the Coastal Conservancy (“Conservancy”) develop competitive grant guidelines. The draft guidelines are posted here. […] (Read more on SF Bay Area...)
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