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Explore the Coast Grant

Grants to California Nonprofits, Tribes, and Agencies for Programs
to Improve Public Accessibility to the Ocean, Coast, and Beaches

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California State Coastal Conservancy

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $50,000 to California nonprofit organizations, tribes, and public agencies for programs to enhance the public's accessibility to the ocean, coast, and beaches. Projects may benefit individuals and communities facing physical, financial, or social barriers to accessing or enjoying the coast. Projects must involve visiting the coast of California or the shore of San Francisco Bay.

ETC Priority Communities may include but are not limited to lower-income individuals and households, people with disabilities, people of color, immigrant communities, foster youth, and others.

Projects should also meet one or more of the following priorities:

  • Provides an enjoyable experience at the coast.
  • Reduces economic, physical, operational, or societal barriers to accessing or enjoying the coast.
  • Inspires ongoing coastal resource stewardship ethic through active learning and interactive activities.

The Conservancy is very interested in supporting programs that bring participants to the coast from throughout the state.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188436

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request a grant amount up to $50,000. The average grant amount awarded ranges between $20,000 – $40,000.

Term of Contract:

Applicants should apply for projects that could start in late 2021 or early 2022 and will be completed by February 2024.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Public agencies, tribes, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding. To be eligible, a nonprofit organization must qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

At least 50% of participants served by the grant must be from communities who face barriers accessing the coast.

Examples of ineligible projects include:
• Projects that focus on classroom-based programs and/or curriculum.
• Projects that solely involve beach clean-ups.
• Construction of new facilities. Please note, however, that the Conservancy has funded hundreds of projects to build new trails, trailheads and other amenities (beach stairways, bathrooms, overlooks, etc.) through other funding programs. Please contact us directly if you are pursuing this type of project.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Conservancy will hold a webinar on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11 am – 12 pm to walk through the Explore the Coast Grant Program and address common questions regarding the application. Potential project applicants are encouraged to attend. The recorded webinar will be posted on afterwards.

Register for the webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted via email by Monday, March 22, 2021.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects with Conservancy managers prior to submitting their applications.

Applicants may be contacted to provide additional information during the review process. Conservancy staff may seek assistance in evaluating the proposals from individuals and/or technical experts with pertinent expertise from other governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and other entities. After an initial round of review, a subset of the applications will also be reviewed by the Explore the Coast Advisory Board. Applicants can anticipate being notified as to whether their project will be recommended for funding by mid-summer 2021.

Explore the Coast Grant Program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applications must be submitted via email to

California State Coastal Conservancy
1515 Clay St, 10th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1015
Fax: (510) 286-0470

Regional Program Managers:

Karyn Gear, North Coast Program Manager,
Region 1, North Coast (Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma)
Region 2, Far North (Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity)

Moira McEnespy, SF Bay Area Program Manager,
Region 3, Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano)
Region 4, Sacramento & Sierras (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba)

Trish Chapman, Central Coast Program Manager,
Region 5, Central Coast (Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara)
Region 6, San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare)

Megan Cooper, South Coast Program Manager,
Region 7, South Coast (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego)
Region 8, Inland Southern California and Deserts (Imperial, Inyo, Riverside, San Bernardino)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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