Ecosystem Restoration and Water Quality Grant Program

State of California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy

Grant amount: US $20,000 - US $3,000,000

Next deadline: Dec 18, 2018 5:00pm PST (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Aug 31, 2019 5:00pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit For-Profit Business Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, Solano County Expand all

Location of residency: California

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The Delta Conservancy is accepting Concept Proposals for the Proposition 1 Ecosystem Restoration and Water Quality Grant Program. $10 million is available for this solicitation period. Prop. 1 provides funding to implement the three objectives of the California Water Action Plan: more reliable water supplies, restoration of important species and habitat and a more resilient and sustainably managed water infrastructure. The Conservancy’s Ecosystem Restoration and Water Quality Grant Program intends to focus on the restoration of important species and habitat.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy (Conservancy) is a primary state agency in the implementation of ecosystem restoration in the Delta and supports efforts that advance environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents. The Conservancy collaborates and cooperates with local communities and others parties to preserve, protect, and restore the natural resources, economy, and agriculture of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh.

Grant Categories

The Conservancy will release funds for two grant categories, Category 1 planning projects and Category 2 implementation projects.

Category 1: Planning

Proposals are limited to pre-project activities necessary for a specific future on-the-ground project that meets the Conservancy Prop 1. Grant Program criteria. Please note that the awarding of a Category 1 grant for a project does not guarantee that a Category 2 grant will be awarded for the same project.

Examples of Category 1 activities include:

  • Planning
  • Permitting
  • Studies (that will aid in a future on-the-ground project)
  • Designs
  • CEQA activities

Category 2: Implementation

Proposals include on-the-ground, implementation projects and land acquisition projects. Category 2 projects are subject to the State General Obligation Bond Law which requires that capital outlay projects be maintained for a minimum of 15 years (section 16727(a)).

Examples of Category 2 activities include:

  • Habitat enhancement, restoration, and protection
  • Pollution runoff reduction
  • Working landscape enhancements
  • Agricultural sustainability projects

See the Grant Guidelines for full details and restrictions.

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


  • Eligible grant applicants include California public agencies, nonprofit organizations, public utilities, federally recognized Tribes, state Tribes listed on the Native American Heritage Commission’s California Tribal Consultation List, and mutual water companies that will have an eligible proposal or project that provides a public benefit in the Delta (Public Resources Code Section 75004) and that will satisfy all the grant requirements. Specifically, eligible applicants are:
    • California public agencies (any city, county, district, or joint powers authority; state agency; public university; or federal agency).
      • To be eligible, public utilities that are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission must have a clear and definite public purpose and shall benefit the customers and not the investors.
      • Qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. “Nonprofit Organization” means an organization that is qualified to do business in California and qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code.
      • Eligible tribal organizations (includes any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, or a tribal agency authorized by a tribe, which is listed on the National Heritage Commission’s California Tribal List or is federally recognized).
      • Mutual water companies, including local and regional companies. Additionally, in order to be eligible:
        • Mutual water companies must have a clear and definite public purpose and shall benefit the customers of the water system and not the investors.
        • An urban water supplier shall adopt and submit an urban water management plan in accordance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act.
        • An agricultural water supplier shall adopt and submit an agricultural water management plan in accordance with the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act.
        • An agricultural water supplier or an urban water supplier is ineligible for funding unless it complies with the requirements of Part 2.55 of their respective water management planning acts.
  • The Conservancy will fund projects within or near the statutory Delta and Suisun Marsh. The statutory Delta and the Suisun Marsh are defined in Public Resources Code Section 85058.
    • The Conservancy may take or fund an action outside the Delta and Suisun Marsh if the Board makes all of the following findings (Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009, Sec. 32360.5):
      • The project implements the ecosystem goals of the Delta Plan.
      • The project is consistent with the requirements of any applicable state and federal permits.
      • The Conservancy has given notice to and reviewed any comments received from affected local jurisdictions and the Delta Protection Commission.
      • The Conservancy has given notice to and reviewed any comments received from any state conservancy where the project is located.
      • The project will provide significant benefits to the Delta
  • Direct costs for work performed within the terms, including scope of and budget, of the grant agreement will be eligible for reimbursement. 


  • The Conservancy‘s highest priority projects will address the following:
    • Restoration and Enhancement
    • Water Quality
    • Water-related Agricultural Sustainability.


  •  As a general rule, organizations or individuals performing non-grant related work for the Conservancy under contract are ineligible to apply for a grant from the Conservancy during the life of the contract. This policy applies to organizations that:
    • Contract directly with the Conservancy.
    • Are providing services as a subcontractor to an individual or organization contracting directly with the Conservancy.
    • Employ an individual, on an ongoing basis, who is performing work for the Conservancy under a contract whether as a contractor or as a subcontractor. 
  • Grant funding may not be used to establish or increase a legal defense fund or endowment, make a monetary donation to other organizations, pay for food or refreshments, pay for tours, or for eminent domain processes.
  • No part of the Conservancy’s grant funding may be used to subsidize or decrease the mitigation obligations of any party. For Category 2 projects,
  • CEQA/NEPA completion is required prior to grant award so these costs are ineligible for the Category 2 proposal.
  • Examples of ineligible projects and costs include:
    • Any Category 2 implementation project that will not result in the construction, acquisition, or long term enhancement of a capital asset.
    • Category 1 Planning projects that do not relate to an eligible implementation project. 
    • Construction equipment purchased solely for purposes of implementing a single project.
    • Projects dictated by a legal settlement or mandated to address a violation of, or an order (citation) to comply with, a law or regulation.
    • Education, outreach, or event related projects, although these types of activities may be included as part of the overall implementation of a project eligible for Conservancy grant funds.
    • Projects that subsidize or decrease the mitigation obligations of any party.
    • Projects to design, construct, operate, mitigate, or maintain Delta conveyance facilities.
    • Projects that do not comply with all legal requirements of Prop. 1 and other applicablelaws