Climate Ready Grant Program

State of California Coastal Conservancy

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Jul 1, 2020

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, Glenn County, Humboldt County Show all

Location of residency: California

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The California State Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready program is soliciting proposals for planning and implementation of projects that increase resilience to sea level rise. This grant round will prioritize projects that include managed retreat, natural shoreline infrastructure, living shorelines and/or habitat enhancement. These grants seek to encourage local governments and non-governmental organizations to prepare for a changing climate by advancing planning and implementation of projects that lessen the impacts of climate change, especially impacts to disadvantaged communities.

The State Coastal Conservancy has $2.8 million available for Climate Ready grants. There are no set minimum or maximum grant amounts, but the Conservancy anticipates funding 3-5 projects


The State Coastal Conservancy (“Conservancy”) is a state agency that works with local communities to implement multi-benefit projects that enhance coastal resources.

The Climate Ready program was launched in 2013 to help California communities meet the challenge of a changing climate. The program has awarded grants to more than 40 projects to assist communities in increasing their resilience to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, urban heat islands, extreme weather events, wildfire, and poor air quality. More information and examples of projects that have been funded by the Climate Ready program in the past can be found here

This round of Climate Ready grants is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website

Eligible Projects – Purpose of this Solicitation

See full solicitation details here.

The Conservancy seeks to fund planning and implementation projects that increase resilience to sea level rise and facilitate reduction of GHG emissions. This grant round will fund projects that include managed retreat, natural shoreline infrastructure, living shorelines, and/or habitat enhancement, with priority given to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.

When current and future conditions prevent adequate function of infrastructure, managed retreat strategies are employed to relocate the infrastructure and proactively protect communities. The Conservancy expects to fund planning or implementation of public infrastructure retreat or removal projects.

Through the Climate Ready Program, the Conservancy is seeking projects that will increase shoreline resilience to sea level rise, with priority given to those that restore ecological function and create habitat. These projects may involve installation of dunes, wetland restoration, conservation of open space, and subtidal restoration including kelp, eelgrass and oyster beds.

Managed retreat projects that will be considered by the Conservancy include but are not limited to active infrastructure relocation, disused structure removal, or replacement of hard-surfaced stabilization techniques with living shorelines. Examples include removing and relocating a section of road or bike path currently prone to high tide flooding, or removal of buildings to provide for wetland restoration.

The Conservancy will consider planning projects as well as implementation of on-the-ground projects, especially projects that can serve as pilots or models for future climate adaptation efforts.

Funding Requirements

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Requirements

Projects in this Climate Ready Round will be funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which is being administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In order to meet GGRF’s legislative purposes, projects must facilitate the achievement of reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and further the purposes of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and related statutes. As an example, a project that achieves net GHG reductions by increasing carbon sequestration through restoring wetlands or planting trees would be consistent with GGRF’s purposes. The Conservancy will work with applicants to document compliance with GGRF requirements and quantify these GHG and other co-benefits consistent with CARB guidance and quantification methodologies. 

Disadvantaged or Low-Income Communities

Approximately 35 percent of the total funds will support projects that are located in and provide benefits to disadvantaged or low-income communities that fall under the criteria put forth by SB 535 (De León, Chapter 830, Statutes of 2012), which directed state and local agencies to make investments that improve California’s most vulnerable communities, and AB 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statutes of 2016), which increased investment minimums from GGRF to these communities. For more information, please see here.

A map showing what are considered disadvantaged and low-income communities as defined by SB 535 and AB 1550 can be found here. Applications for projects that benefit priority populations will be verified using the geographic coordinates provided in the application.

Benefits to disadvantaged and low-income communities must be clearly identified in the proposed project. Examples of benefits include:

  • Project preserves a site that allows public access
  • Project significantly reduces flood risk to households within one or more disadvantaged or low-income communities
  • Project or plan includes components that, when executed, reduce direct risk to priority populations from climate hazards such as: flooding, coastal inundation, wave impacts, or erosion;
  • Project maintains water quality and health of watersheds serving priority populations through avoiding the conversion of forest lands or wetlands that would have resulted in impacts to nearby water bodies located in the same or a directly adjacent disadvantaged or low-income community as the project
  • Project provides regular and ongoing educational opportunities through partnerships with schools or non-profit organizations located in disadvantaged or low-income communities and site access to residents of these communities
  • Project includes recruitment, agreements, policies, or other approaches that are consistent with federal and state law and result in either:
    • at least 25 percent of project work hours performed by residents of a disadvantaged or low-income community, or by residents of low-income households
    • at least 10 percent of project work hours performed by residents, as described above, participating in job training programs which lead to industry-recognized credentials or certifications.

Projects claiming to benefit priority populations must be designed to avoid substantial burdens on those communities (e.g., displacement of low-income disadvantaged community residents and businesses or increased exposure to toxics or other health risks). Projects that benefit priority populations are given extra points in the scoring criteria. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Nonprofit organizations, federally recognized tribes and public agencies 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, and the organization’s purposes must be consistent with Division 21 of the Public Resources Code, the Coastal Conservancy’s enabling legislation.
  • Generally, the Conservancy supports projects within coastal draining watersheds, the entirety of the nine-county Bay Area region, and in the jurisdiction of the Santa Ana River Conservancy Program.
    • Projects may be located in counties such as Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
    • A map of the Coastal Conservancy’s jurisdiction is posted here