Coastal Conservancy Grants
Each year, the Coastal Conservancy issues millions of dollars in grants for projects that restore and protect the California coast, expand public access to it, and enhance its resilience to climate change.
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 for projects that benefit public access, natural resources, working lands, and climate resiliency at the coast, coastal watersheds, and the San Francisco Bay.
Applying for a Grant
Most Conservancy grants are awarded through a rolling pre-application solicitation. This includes Climate Ready, Wildfire Resilience, and all regional grant programs. Explore the Coast, Coastal Stories, and some other grant programs are NOT awarded through this rolling process. See Scheduled Grant Rounds section below for information on those grant rounds.
The application is a two-step process, though all applicants are encouraged to request a technical assistance consultation with the Regional Manager covering your project area to discuss project eligibility before beginning the application process. The first step in the application process is to submit a pre-application. If a pre-application meets the Conservancy’s Eligibility Criteria (found here) and there is available Conservancy funding for the project, applicants will be invited to submit a full application.
A webinar was held on November 9, 2022 on Conservancy funding and how to apply for our grants.
The slides used in the webinar can be found here.
A Q&A document based on the questions asked during the webinar and subsequently can be found here.
A recording of the entire webinar can be found here, and the individual segments are below:
Application Guidance and Documents
*The links below will initiate downloads of Microsoft Word files. Check your “Downloads” folder to locate them on your computer. If you don’t have Microsoft Word, we recommend downloading the files then opening them in a free program like Google Docs. When your application is complete, save it as a Word doc before sending to us.*
The Regional Managers are:
North Coast (Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, coastal Sonoma, and coastal Marin counties)
- Karyn Gear – karyn.gear (at) scc.ca.gov
San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco, bayside Marin, bayside Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and bayside San Mateo counties)
- Moira McEnespy – moira.mcenespy (at) scc.ca.gov
Central Coast (Coastal San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties)
- Trish Chapman – trish.chapman (at) scc.ca.gov
South Coast (Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, as well as Riverside and San Bernardino for the Santa Ana River Conservancy)
- Megan Cooper – megan.cooper (at) scc.ca.gov
- Greg Gauthier – greg.gauthier (at) scc.ca.gov for inquiries about the Santa Ana River
What We Fund
The Coastal Conservancy funds a wide variety of projects along the California coast, San Francisco Bay, and in coastal watersheds to increase availability of beaches, parks and trails for the public, protect and restore natural lands and wildlife habitat, preserve working lands, and increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.
The Conservancy will fund most stages of a project including: pre-project feasibility studies, property acquisition, project planning including community involvement, design, environmental review, permitting, construction, and project-related monitoring. We do not fund operation and maintenance activities.
Available SF Bay Area Program funding pots are now mainly focused on projects that use nature-based approaches to address sea level rise. We are also coordinating support for Adaptation Projects with fellow state agencies; refer to this guide, and happy to schedule a discussion to find the best fit for your project.
The Conservancy uses Project Selection Criteria to communicate priorities to potential applicants and project partners, to evaluate grant applications, and to select projects for funding. Multi-benefit projects, projects that serve disadvantaged communities, and projects that advance the objectives in our 2023 – 2027 Strategic Plan and regional and statewide plans will receive higher priority for funding.
If you have an urban greening project, please direct your project idea to CA Natural Resources Agency, which has significant funds dedicated for urban greening. CNRA’s solicitation timeline is still TBD, so consider registering for Bonds & Grants announcements at the following link to stay updated on all funding opportunities, including the Urban Greening Program: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CNRA/subscriber/new?topic_id=CNRA_388
For more information about projects funded by the Conservancy, please visit:
Who is Eligible for Funding
The Conservancy can make grants to:
- Public Agencies, including Joint Power Authorities and Federally-Recognized Indian Tribes
- Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status
- Other community-based organizations and non-federally-recognized tribes may apply with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor
There are no maximum or minimum grant amounts for this funding; however, it is anticipated that most grants will be between $200,000 and $5,000,000.
(Exception: $100,000 is the maximum amount for the Conservancy’s Explore the Coast Grants.)
Scheduled Grant Rounds
The Conservancy also holds periodic grant rounds related to specific programs or fund sources. Information on those grant rounds and their deadlines are posted below when they are open. You can also sign up to be notified of scheduled grant rounds by registering for our mailing list at this link.
- Resources for Grantees page
- Nov 2022 Webinar on Applying for Grants
- California State Agency Climate Adaptation Planning Grants Matrix
- Questions and Answers on the Grant Application Process
- Pre-Proposal Application (Word Download)
- Grant Application Guide (Word Download)
- Grant Application (Word Download)
- Nonprofit questionnaire (please download before filling in)
- Request for Disbursement Form (and RFD instructions). The RFD form is also available as a downloadable spreadsheet here. Either version is fine to use.
California has a statewide grants portal (grants.ca.gov) where applicants can search all California state grants.
- Request for Partnership Proposals/Letters of Interest for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program FY 2024NOTE: This is a call-for preproposals for projects who would like to partner with the California State Coastal Conservancy to apply for US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant (NCWCG) Program funding. a) This is NOT the official NCWC call for applications. b) Projects hoping to receive NCWCG funding are NOT required […] (Read more on Request for Partnership...)
- SCC Grant Availability Webinar Nov 9The 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...)
- Coastal Stories Grant Program Launched to Support Inclusive Storytelling about the California CoastThe Coastal Conservancy has launched 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. Our Coastal Stories Grant Program seeks to fund projects that plan, develop, […] (Read more on Coastal Stories Grant...)
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