About the Conservancy

Explore the Coast

Photo: Alison Taggart-Barone

Our Mission
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.

Click here for information in languages other than English.

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.

Conservancy Staff – All staff can be reached at 510-286-1015 (though most staff are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Enabling Legislation – California Public Resources Code, Division 21

Accomplishments – Serving those interested in enjoying, improving, and protecting the natural resources of our coast

Strategic Plan – We develop a Strategic Plan that identifies specific goals to guide the Conservancy’s work

Project Selection Criteria  – The Conservancy Board has adopted criteria to guide funding decisions

Coastal Access Project Standards – The Conservancy Board has adopted standards for prioritizing and managing coastal access projects

Regional & Statewide Plans – Plans and policies that implement priorities and are consistent with Coastal Conservancy objectives

Financial Reports – Annual financial reports on past year expenditures and agency funding

FAQ – What is the Coastal Conservancy? What does the Coastal Conservancy do?

Latest News

  • Coastal Conservancy Public Meeting in Pacific Grove – December 01
      Meeting Notice Douglas Bosco (Public Member), Chair Ann Notthoff (Public Member), Vice Chair Marce Gutiérrez-Graudi?š (Public Member) Joseph Alioto Jr. (Public Member) Wade Crowfoot, Secretary for Natural Resources; Bryan Cash (Designated) Donne Brownsey, Coastal Commission Chair; Madeline Cavalieri (Designated) Keely Bosler, Director, Department of Finance; Gayle Miller (Designated) Senate Representatives Benjamin Allen (District 26) […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Public...)
  • SCC Grant Availability Webinar Nov 9
    The State of California has made an unprecedented investment in the resilience and accessibility of the coast.  As a result, the Coastal Conservancy has significant funding available to non-profit organizations, public agencies, and federally-recognized tribes for projects that benefit public access, natural resources, working lands, and climate resiliency at the coast, coastal watersheds, and the San […] (Read more on SCC Grant Availability...)
  • Call for Applications to Serve on the Explore the Coast Advisory Board
      California’s ocean, coast, and beaches have long been recognized and used as spaces of joy, relaxation, and healing. The State Coastal Conservancy’s Explore the Coast (ETC) grant program seeks to provide coastal experiences for people and communities who face challenges or barriers to accessing or enjoying the coast (“ETC Priority Communities”). ETC Priority Communities […] (Read more on Call for Applications...)
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