Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 Grants

State of California Coastal Conservancy

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Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $1,700,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 30, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: 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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State Coastal Conservancy’s Proposition 1 Grants

The State Coastal Conservancy (“Conservancy”) is a state agency, established in 1976, to work proactively with local communities to implement multi-benefit projects that protect and enhance coastal resources. The Conservancy works along the entire length of California’s coast, within the watersheds of rivers and streams that extend inland from the coast, and throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (“Proposition 1”) was approved by voters in November 2014. Proposition 1 is codified as Division 26.7 of the Water Code. The purposes of Proposition 1 include generating funding to address water quality, water supply and watershed protection and restoration. Chapter 6 of Proposition 1 allocates $100.5 million to the Conservancy for competitive grants for multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects, Water Code Section 79731(j).

Funding Priorities

The Conservancy has identified four priorities for Proposition 1 expenditures. The four priorities project types include: water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration and urban greening. 

See full details of each priority in the proposal solicitation.

  • Water Sustainability: Advance the sustainable use and management of water in coastal watersheds in order to achieve conservation benefits, improve ecosystem health, and increase climate resiliency
  • Protect and Enhance Anadromous Fish Habitat: Restore habitat, including flow needed for achieving the health of anadromous fish populations
  • Wetland Restoration:  Enhance wetlands and subtidal habitats to restore ecosystem function and provide multi-benefit flood protection, resilient shorelines and other ecosystem benefits.
  • Urban Greening: Build urban greening projects that increase groundwater recharge, reduce runoff, improve water quality, and improve urban watershed health while creating public green-space and expanding urban forests.

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


  • Eligible applicants for Prop 1 grant funding from the Conservancy are:
    • Public agencies as defined in Prop 1: any state agency or department, special district, joint powers authority, city, county, city and county, or other political subdivision of the state.
    • Any private, nonprofit organization that qualifies under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, and whose purposes are consistent with the Conservancy’s enabling legislation (Division 21 of the Public Resources Code).
    • Indian Tribes that are either federally recognized or listed on the Native Heritage Commission’s California Tribal Consultation List.
    • Public utilities and mutual water companies; projects proposed by this type of applicant must have a clear and definite public purpose and must benefit the customers of the water system and not the investors.
      • Additional eligibility requirements apply to any eligible grantee that is also an urban water supplier or an agricultural water supplier, as set forth in Prop 1, Water Code Section 79712(b)
  • Project eligibility:
    • To be eligible for this round of Proposition 1 funding, projects must advance at least one of the purposes of Chapter 6 of Proposition 1. 
    •  Proposition 1 funds must be spent consistent with the General Obligation Bond Law, Government Code Section 16727.
      • In general, this means projects must entail the construction or acquisition of capital assets and/or activities that are incidentally but directly related to construction or acquisition, such as planning, design and engineering
    • Prop 1 contains additional provisions that may make some projects ineligible, these include:
      • All projects funded by Prop 1 must be consistent with the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Division 7 of the Water Code) and the State’s five-year infrastructure plan prepared pursuant to Government Code section 13100.
      • Prop 1 funds may only be used for projects that will provide benefits or improvements that are greater than required applicable environmental mitigation measures or compliance obligations.
      • Land acquisition projects, including acquisition of conservation easements, are eligible if they are consistent with the purposes of Chapter 6 of Prop 1.
      • Proposition 1 funds are appropriated to the Conservancy with a maximum of five years for expenditure. Projects must be ready to start work and able to be completed within a maximum of five years.
      • For storm water capture projects to be eligible for Prop 1 funding, a local public agency must have a Storm Water Resource Plan certified by the State Water Resource Control Board (State Board). 
    • The Conservancy supports projects within coastal draining watersheds and in the entirety of the ninecounty Bay Area region. 
      • See a map of the jurisdiction here
    • To be eligible for Conservancy funding, a project must meet the Conservancy’s required project selection criteria:
      • Promotion of the Conservancy’s statutory programs and purposes (Division 21 of the Public Resources Code);
      • Consistency with purposes of the funding source;
      • Promotion and implementation of state plans and policies (specific plans and policies and the specific goals or objectives within those plans and polices that would be furthered by the project);
      • Support from the public;
      • Location (must benefit coastal, ocean resources, or the San Francisco Bay region);
      • Need (desired project or result will not occur without Conservancy participation);
      • Greater-than-local interest;
      • Sea level rise vulnerability. (Consistent with Executive Order S-13-08, for new projects located in areas vulnerable to future sea level rise, planning shall consider a range of sea level rise scenarios in order to assess project vulnerability and, to the extent feasible, reduce expected risks and increase resiliency to sea level rise.)


  • Priority will be given to projects that implement state plans and policies
  • The Conservancy will award additional points to applicants with significant matching funds from nonstate sources.


  • Prop 1 cannot be used to fund acquisitions of land by eminent domain. Water Code Section 79711(g).