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.  Explore the Coast, Coastal Stories, and others are NOT awarded through this rolling process. See Scheduled Grant Rounds section below for information on those and other 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 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.*

 

Diagram of Application Process following the Pre-Proposal Stage

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

 

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.

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 current Strategic Plan and regional and statewide plans will receive higher priority for funding.

We are currently underway with a strategic planning process to identify priority projects and programs, desired measurable outcomes, and the process we will use for soliciting, evaluating, and recommending projects to the Conservancy Board for funding in the next 5 years. When the new plan is approved by our Board, it will replace the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan and help guide our project selection process.

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

Grant Amounts

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: $50,000 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 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.

Reference Documents

California has a statewide grants portal (grants.ca.gov) where applicants can search all California state grants.

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