Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program (CWRGP)

Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $30,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 31, 2019 5:00pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Mexico, Counties in California: Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, Santa Barbara County Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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The Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project’s (WRP) Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program (CWRGP) provides funding for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in the southern California region.

The purpose of the program is to further the goals of the  WRP Regional Strategy; build local capacity to plan and implement wetland restoration projects; promote community involvement in wetland restoration activities; and foster education about wetland ecosystems. A partial compilation of projects funded in past Program cycles can be found on the WRP website homepage, on the Project Board. The 2016-2017 WRP Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program is funded by Earth Island Institute. 

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


  • Eligible applicants include 501c(3) nonprofit organizations, local (City or County) government agencies, and university departments
  • Eligible projects must meet the following general criteria:
    1. Restoration or preservation of a coastal wetland or coastal stream corridor:
      • Projects must have as a primary goal the restoration or preservation of a coastal wetland – estuarine or vernal pool - or coastal stream corridor in southern California from Point Conception to the Mexican border region, including watersheds in Mexico that drain to the Tijuana River.
      • Preservation projects could include implementation of best management practices on both public and private lands.
      • Planning projects are eligible, but restoration projects will be given a higher priority in the selection process.
    2. Community involvement and education element:
      • Projects must have community involvement and an education component.
      • Through the projects it funds, the CWRGP is attempting to make significant impacts to both the region’s wetland resources and the region’s communities, with projects that engage and educate the community through their hands-on participation in restoration, resulting in measurable on-the-ground restoration outcomes.
      • This education linked to a restoration experience builds a community’s capacity for future restoration projects as well as providing numerous positive feedbacks to the community, such as creating a sense of place, fostering stewardship of wetland habitats, and improving environmental awareness.
      • The CWRGP is particularly interested in engaging a diverse array of community members in the participating projects.

  • Proposals should represent projects that are ready to implement.
  • Note that the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program is designed for relatively low-dollar projects or a distinct portion of a larger project that can be implemented quickly and effectively to achieve on-the ground restoration while building a community’s capacity for future, potentially larger projects and expanding education and outreach efforts on wetland restoration.
  • A project should have clearly defined goals and outcomes that can be achieved on the order of a year, rather than a project that is encumbered by the increased logistics, such as complex management, permitting, and planning, of a larger multi-year project.


  • Proposals from local government agencies and Universities that partner with local nonprofit organizations on their proposed project will be looked upon more favorably than those that do not.
  • Selection Criteria: Applications will be evaluated based on the WRP’s overarching Project Evaluation Criteria here.
  • The following considerations are specific to the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program:
    • Extent to which the project will advance hands-on community involvement in a wetland restoration project, particularly involvement beyond the traditional environmental constituency.
    • Degree to which the project will help build the applicant’s capacity to plan and implement wetlands restoration projects.
    • Extent to which the project will foster education about wetland ecosystems and the impacts and threats to those ecosystems, as well as the opportunities for restoration and community BMP’s.
    • Extent to which the project contributes matching funds or services. There is no required match for the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program; however, matching funds and services can help demonstrate broader community interest and support for the project.


  • General funding to an ongoing program will not be granted.
    • Startup costs (capital costs) or a specific restoration project within a multiyear program may be considered.
  • Funding to an ongoing monitoring project will not be granted.
    • Startup costs (capital costs) for a monitoring project or monitoring tied to a specific restoration project may be considered.
  • Follow-on funding (funding over two consecutive grant cycles) to a project is possible but not likely since this would no longer constitute a small grant.
    • Provision of two consecutive years of funding is only considered in unique extenuating circumstances.