Coastal Conservancy Grants
Each year, the Coastal Conservancy issues tens of millions of dollars in grants to non-profit organizations, public agencies, and federally-recognized tribes for projects that restore and protect the California coast, increase public access to it, and increase communities’ resilience to climate change. Grants are awarded through a standing pre-proposal solicitation and through scheduled grant rounds with specific submission deadlines. Information on the grant application and award process can be found here.
The first step in determining whether your project is eligible for Conservancy funding is to get in touch with the Regional Manager for your project area. The Regional Manager can give early feedback and help guide your project through the submittal process and can let you know which of the grant programs below could work best for your project.
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, 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
Ongoing Funding Opportunities
The Coastal Conservancy accepts grant applications on an ongoing basis for projects that benefit public access, natural resources, working lands, and climate resiliency on the California coast.
To find out how to access our ongoing funding opportunities for your project, please contact the Regional Managers above.
After contacting a Regional Manager, if your project is eligible for Conservancy funding, you will either be asked to fill out a pre-proposal application (approx. 3 pages) or advised to apply during one of our scheduled grant rounds (see below).
The pre-proposal for the Explore the Coast Overnight program can be found here.
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 be posted on this page 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.
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.
Our jurisdiction runs the length of the California coast and includes the San Francisco Bay, the Santa Ana River corridor and coastal watersheds. It is almost 50,000 square miles — approximately 30% of California’s area — and is home to 75% of the state’s population.
Projects that achieve multiple objectives will receive higher priority for funding. Projects that serve disadvantaged communities, as defined by the funding source, will also receive higher priority for funding.
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 typically do not fund operation and maintenance activities.
For more information about projects funded by the Conservancy, please visit:
Who is Eligible for Funding
The Conservancy can make grants to government agencies (federal, state, local, and special districts), federally-recognized tribes, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with purposes consistent with Division 21 of the Public Resources Code.
There are no established minimum or maximum grant amounts for most Conservancy programs. The Coastal Conservancy will base the size of awards on project needs, benefits and competing demands for existing funding. (Exception: $50,000 is the maximum amount for the Conservancy’s Explore the Coast Grants.)
- Resources for Grantees page
- Pre-proposal application
- Pre-proposal instructions
- 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.
- Pre-proposal for Explore the Coast Overnight
California has a statewide grants portal (grants.ca.gov) where applicants can search all California state grants.
- Sea Otter Recovery Grants: Grant Applications Due September 1, 2020Photo: Mike Baird The State Coastal Conservancy is now accepting applications for its 2021 Sea Otter Recovery Grants. The grants will be funded by the California Sea Otter Fund, which is one of the state’s voluntary tax check-off funds that allows taxpayers to contribute additional money for use towards the recovery of California sea otter […] (Read more on Sea Otter Recovery...)
- Coastal Conservancy Awards Nearly $18 Million for Coastal Restoration, Preservation and Public AccessBoard approves funding for land acquisitions, accessways, wharf repairs Oakland, CA – Today, the Board of the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded $17.9 million to 18 projects to protect and restore the California coast and San Francisco Bay, and increase public access to these natural resources. Among these grants was $5 million to […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Awards...)
- Press Release: Coastal Conservancy Awards over $8.2 million in First Ever Virtual Board MeetingOakland, CA – Today, in its first ever virtual Board meeting, the Coastal Conservancy Authorized $8.2 million in grant funding for projects to restore, protect and increase access to the California Coast and San Francisco Bay. Due to state and local Shelter-In-Place orders, members of the Conservancy’s Board, staff and the public convened via teleconference […] (Read more on Press Release: Coastal...)