Coastal Stories Grant Program

Request for Proposals – Coastal Stories Grant Program

Children and Birds

What’s your Coastal Story?  How does your community connect to the outdoors? And who carries the untold histories and stories of California?

California is marked by its diversity, and yet many stories told in the outdoors center around a white, settler perspective. The Coastal Conservancy announces its Request for Proposals for “Coastal Stories,” a new grant program that intends to make the outdoors more inclusive and welcoming for all Californians by fostering representation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and other historically excluded groups in outdoor spaces – through storytelling.

We seek to fund projects that plan, develop, and implement storytelling installations or materials (such as murals, signage, monuments, or guides) that represent communities and voices that have been historically excluded in the storytelling of California’s coast and publicly accessible lands. These communities may include but are not limited to BIPOC people, people with disabilities, immigrant communities, low-income communities, and other historically excluded communities.

All projects must present a story connected to publicly-accessible outdoors spaces within our jurisdiction,  in a way that will reach the public. We encourage proposals for projects that are community-led, that show strong community and landowner partnerships, and that use creative forms of historical, ecological, and cultural storytelling.


Pre-proposals are due by 5pm on January 31, 2022. Pre-proposals submitted after this date will continue to be considered on a rolling basis. Based on this review, applicants may be invited to submit a full proposal or asked to provide further information on their project.

The State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) is a State agency established in 1976 to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, help people access and enjoy the outdoors, and sustain local economies and agriculture. The Coastal Stories program is part of the Conservancy’s Explore the Coast (ETC) program, which seeks to provide coastal experiences for people and communities who face challenges to accessing or enjoying the coast.


These are the priorities of the Coastal Stories grant program:

  • Promote a sense of belonging in outdoor spaces by presenting perspectives that include BIPOC and/or other historically excluded communities.
  • Engage representatives of BIPOC and/or other historically excluded communities to develop and share their coastal perspectives and stories.
  • Improve educational content in California’s outdoor spaces by correcting one-sided histories, retelling stories in more appropriate and inclusive ways, and developing new content that shares untold stories.
  • Use creative forms of interpretation and storytelling.


We will fund planning and preparation activities such as hiring historians/ storytellers/ artists, community engagement, designing materials, acquiring permits and permissions, and installation, creation, or implementation of project. Please see our Inclusive Interpretive Material Guidelines for specific suggestions on producing inclusive content.


A public webinar was held on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 12pm – 1pm to walk through the Coastal Stories Grant Program and address common questions regarding the application. A recording of that webinar can be found here.

Please email with any questions.


Application materials and additional resources can be found below:

RFP and Pre-Application

Conservancy Jurisdiction Map

Coastal Stories Grant Program FAQ

Inclusive Interpretive Material Guidelines


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