Explore the Coast Grants


Photo: Viva Verde Education Program


The Conservancy’s Explore the Coast Grant program encourages all Californian’s to explore and experience our spectacular coast.

There is no minimum grant size but the maximum grant award is $50,000. If funding is available, the Conservancy will offer these grants every year. Since 2013, the Conservancy has awarded $4.2 million in 149 separate grants.

Explore the Coast grants fund a wide range of programs that bring people to the coast, increase stewardship of coastal resources, and provide educational opportunities. These grants prioritize projects that achieve one or more of these objectives:

  • Provide coastal experiences to lower-income or other underserved populations;
  • Increase the number of people visiting the coast;
  • Improve barrier-free access for persons with disabilities; and/or
  • Provide a valuable recreational, environmental, cultural or historic learning experience;
  • Increase stewardship of coastal resources; or
  • Enhance the public’s coastal experience in a way that does not currently exist.

Programs that teach Californian’s to value the state’s coastal resources or programs that combine education with beach maintenance and habitat restoration projects should also consider applying for a Coastal Commission Whale Tail Grant.

In its initial grant round the Conservancy awarded over $1.3 million to 52 projects that brought students, families and the public out to enjoy and experience coastal areas. In its second grant round, the Conservancy awarded $1.8 million to 57 projects. Several projects funded transportation for school groups from inland areas to the ocean and San Francisco Bay, particularly people from underserved communities and those with disabilities who otherwise have fewer opportunities to visit the coast. Many projects have provided environmental education about the ocean, coast, and San Francisco Bay to K-12 students, targeting schools in low-income communities.

Funding for Explore the Coast grants comes from the Whale Tail specialty license plate from Coastal Commission permit fees.

SCC/OPC Project Viewer

SCC Project Viewer

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