Coastal Conservancy Awards $7 Million for SF Bay and Coastal Restoration, Preservation, and Public Access

21 Explore the Coast Grants Awarded to Fund Coastal Programming for Communities Facing Barriers to Access

Oakland, CA – Today, the Board of the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded over $7 million to 15 projects to protect and restore the California coast and San Francisco Bay, and increase public access to these natural resources.

Included in the awards were 21 Explore the Coast grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies.  Now in its seventh round, the Conservancy’s Explore the Coast grant program funds programs that give unique coastal experiences to communities that face barriers to access.

Surfer by Golden Gate

City Surf Project. Photo: Avra Heller

Staff estimates that the 21 projects funded in the 2020-2021 Explore the Coast grant program will engage over 8,000 people through fieldtrip projects. Of these 8,000, project partners estimate that the program will serve over 7,500 low-income Californians, 6,800 people of color, approximately 3,000 people for whom English is not their first language, and at least 400 people with disabilities.  All programs will follow COVID-19 safety precautions.

The Board also approved $3 million in funding for the Terminal Four Wharf Project in Richmond, which consists of demolition of derelict pilings, decking, and two buildings, construction of enhanced rock slope protection, and monitoring.  The City of Richmond has been planning the removal of the creosote-treated piles and deteriorated decking at the Terminal Four site for a number of years in order to increase the ecological health of San Francisco Bay, improve spawning and development success of Pacific herring, maintain the existing degree of shoreline protection, and to protect and enhance the existing eelgrass beds and other biological resources. In addition, the project will help to increase climate resiliency by cleaning up this area of the shoreline and strengthening the natural eelgrass and oyster habitats, which act as green infrastructure that provides nature-based adaptation to climate change impacts such as sea level rise and shoreline erosion.


The projects approved at the November Board meeting were:


  1. A grant of up to $3,000,000 to the City of Richmond for final design and implementation of the Terminal Four Wharf Removal Project near Point San Pablo, Contra Costa County; and adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.
  2. A grant of up to $271,357 to the City of Albany for preparation of plans, designs and environmental review documents for Phase V of the Codornices Creek Restoration Project.
  3. A grant of up to $125,000 to the Napa Valley Transportation Authority for the design and construction of 2.9 miles of Bay Area Ridge Trail/Napa Valley Vine Trail in Napa County, and adoption of findings under the California Environmental Quality Act.
  4. Recommendation to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that five resource protection and public access projects be included in the Priority Conservation Area (PCA) Grant Program.
  5. A grant of up to $1,000,000 to California Wildlife Foundation for final ecotone and revegetation construction documents to support implementation of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Projectin Santa Clara County.



  1. A grant of up to $250,000 to the County of San Luis Obispo to construct public access improvements to an existing informal coastal park at Cave Landing, San Luis Obispo County.
  2. A grant of up to $250,000 to the Port San Luis Harbor District to renovate the Avila pierin San Luis Obispo County.
  3. A grant of up to $79,750 to Monterey Bay Aquarium to implement a project to aid in recovery of the southern sea otter, consisting of raising and releasing up to three stranded pups using captive female otters as surrogates, and analyzing and circulating best practices for sea otter surrogacy.
  4. A grant of up to $100,000 to the County of Santa Barbara to prepare feasibility and technical studies, design plans, and a County permit pre-application package for a new coastal trail, coastal access parking, and beach accessway at Jalama BeachCounty Park.



  1. A grant of up to $250,000 to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority to prepare plans, environmental documents, and permit applications for wetland restoration and public access facilities in the southern area of the Los Cerritos Wetlands in Seal Beach.
  1. A grant of up to $445,990 to California Trout, Inc. to plan and prepare designs, technical analysis, and reports for a riparian habitat restoration project at Rose Valley Creekin Los Padres National Forest in unincorporated Ventura County.
  2. A grant of up to $550,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to construct public beach access improvements at Big Rock Beachin the City of Malibu.
  3. A grant of up to $24,000 to Orange County Coastkeeper for management and maintenance of the public access easement at Portofino Cove in Huntington Harborin the City of Huntington Beach, Orange County
  4. A grant of up to $48,210 of funds received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to U.S. Geological Survey and Southern California Coastal Water Research Project to augment the previously authorized grant for marsh migration and estuary dynamics studiesas recommended by the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project.



  1. A grant of up to $695,000 to nonprofit organizations and public agencies for 21 projects that facilitate and enhance the public’s opportunities to explore the California coast.  Participants are drawn from throughout the State and will visit coastal locations from Del Norte County south to San Diego County.


The next Conservancy meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2021 and will be held via teleconference



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.


Latest News

Email List Icon Image Sign up and Stay Informed!
SCC/OPC Project Viewer Photo of sea otter in the ocean Help Save Sea Otters at Tax Time