Sea Otter Recovery Fund Grants

State of California Coastal Conservancy

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Sep 7, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group College / University

Funding uses: Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


State Coastal Conservancy’s Sea Otter Recovery Program

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 California Sea Otter Fund is one of the state’s voluntary tax check-off funds that allows taxpayers to voluntarily contribute additional money for use towards the recovery of California sea otter populations. Approximately 50% of the revenues are allocated to the Coastal Conservancy for “competitive grants and contracts to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for research, science, protection, projects, or programs related to the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan or improving the nearshore ocean ecosystem, including, but not limited to, program activities to reduce sea otter mortality, and for public outreach activities that encourage taxpayers to make contributions by voluntary checkoff on a tax return to the California Sea Otter Fund. The projects or programs may also address pathogens and water and wastewater treatment technologies.”

Each year, the Conservancy solicits proposals for the annual appropriation from the fund. This year the Conservancy has approximately $118,000 available for projects that meeting the fund’s objectives. 

Solicitation Priorities 

Coastal Conservancy grants funded by the California Sea Otter Fund can be used for a variety of activities related to sea otter recovery and improving the nearshore ecosystem. Conservancy priorities for the funding are as follows:

  • Plan and implement projects to improve or expand sea otter habitat
  • Reduce environmental stressors impacting sea otters
  • Implement critical recovery actions of the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan
  • Research focusing on ways to improve or expand sea otter habitat or reduce stressors

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


  • Eligible applicants for Proposition 1 grant funding from the Conservancy are:
    • Public agencies
    • 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) 
    • Tribes that are either federally recognized or listed on the Native Heritage Commission’s
    • California Tribal Consultation List.
  • Eligible projects include research, science, protection projects or programs related to the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan or improving the nearshore ocean ecosystem, including, but not limited to, program activities to reduce sea otter mortality. 
  • To be eligible for Conservancy funding, a project must address the Solicitation Priorities, above, and 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 (the California Sea Otter Fund).
    • 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 area, ocean resources, or the San Francisco Bay or Santa Ana River regions).
    • 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.)
  • Additional Criteria
    • Urgency
    • Resolution of more than one issue
    • Leverage
    • Conflict resolution
    • Innovation
    • Readiness
    • Cooperation 


  • Matching funds are not required; however, leverage is one of the Conservancy’s project evaluation criteria so the amount of matching funds will be considered in our proposal evaluation.