California Watershed Protection Fund Grant

Rose Foundation

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Next deadline: Feb 15, 2021 5:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Apr 16, 2021 5:00pm PDT (Full proposal), Aug 16, 2021 5:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Oct 15, 2021 5:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: US $7,500 - US $25,000

Fields of work: Environmental Justice & Advocacy Marine/Ocean Conservation Freshwater Conservation Water Resource Management

Applicant type: Indigenous Group, Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in California: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Humboldt County, Los Angeles County, Marin County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



About the Fund

The California Watershed Protection Fund is enabled by court-ordered environmental mitigation payments. Most of the mitigation payments relate to federal Clean Water Act problems and are limited to supporting projects designed to benefit the surface water quality of many of California’s watersheds and their ecosystems. Due to funding fluctuations, the specific watersheds eligible for grants may vary – please check the list of currently eligible watersheds. We anticipate that this funding process will be very competitive and most grants awarded will be in the $7,500 – $25,000 range. While the Rose Foundation welcomes proposals from small grassroots conservation and environmental justice groups, most grants are awarded to well-established organizations with a strong track record of community-based water quality stewardship. If your organization is new or small (under $100,000 annual expenses), we urge you to consider applying to our Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund instead.

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


  • To be eligible for a California Watershed Protection Fund grant, the applicant and project must meet the following criteria:
    • Projects Supported must be designed to benefit the water quality of currently eligible watersheds and their ecosystems:
      • Southern California Bight with an emphasis on Los Angeles area waterbodies, including specific limited funds for Compton Creek, Santa Ana River, and San Gabriel River, and projects that reduce plastic water pollution.
      • Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (with a preference for projects located within the Delta or in San Joaquin County), the Sacramento River (projects related to wastewater treatment encouraged), and the Feather River.
      • Santa Maria River Watershed, including San Antonio Creek and Orcutt Creek.
      • Russian River.
      • San Francisco Bay.
      • Mad River Watershed and very limited funds for Arcata Bay and Humboldt Bay.
      • There are very limited funds for Half Moon Bay Basin in San Mateo County.
    • Applicant requirements:
      • The applicant must demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed project, including experience in successfully conducting similar or otherwise related work in the past.
    • Nonprofit status:
      • The applicant must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity.
      • If you work with a small organization that lacks non-profit status but has a compelling project, the Rose Foundation may be willing to act as your fiscal sponsor for this grant proposal.


  • Environmental Justice:
    • While this is not specifically an environmental justice fund, supporting environmental and social justice is a core organizational value that guides all of our grantmaking.
    • Projects that advance environmental justice as well as water quality will receive preference.


  • In order to make space for new applicants, grantees who received funding within the last 12 months are discouraged from applying this round.
  • California Watershed Protection Fund Grants are not recommended for very small organizations or first-time grant seekers.
  • If your organization is new or small (under $100,000 annual expenses), we urge you to consider applying to our Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund instead.


This page was last reviewed January 20, 2021 and last updated January 20, 2021