About the Conservancy
Photo: Alison Taggart-Barone
Our vision is of a beautiful, restored, and accessible coast for current and future Californians. We act with others to protect and restore, and increase public access to, California’s coast, ocean, coastal watersheds and the San Francisco Bay Area.
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. The Conservancy implements statewide resource plans through its projects, including the California Water Action Plan, the Wildlife Action Plan, and many others. 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 Coastal Conservancy also works throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and the entire Santa Ana River watershed. A map of the Conservancy’s jurisdiction is posted here.
The Conservancy provides technical assistance and grant funding to local communities, nonprofit organizations, other government agencies, businesses, and private landowners to implement multi-benefit projects that:
- protect the natural and scenic beauty of the coast
- enhance wildlife habitat
- help the public to get to and enjoy beaches and parklands
- keep farmland and timberlands in production
- improve water quality
- revitalize working waterfronts
- prepare communities for the impacts of climate change
The Conservancy has played a critical role in shaping California’s coastal landscape as we know it today. Since its creation, the Conservancy has built hundreds of miles of trails and preserved hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, coastal farmland, and scenic open space. Many of the most-loved scenic, natural, and recreational resources of the California coast and the San Francisco Bay Area have been protected by the work of the Conservancy and its many partners.