Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program (CWRGP)

Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project

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

Anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2020 5:00pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

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

Location of residency: United States

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Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program

  • Small grants for community-based wetland restoration projects with an education component

The Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program (CWRGP) is a program of the Conservancy that provides funding annually for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in the Southern California region. The program provides annual funding for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in the Southern California region.

The purpose of CWRGP is to further the wetland recovery goals of the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (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. Projects funded through the program must include educational and community involvement elements as strong components of the project.

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.

The CWRGP will fund only one project from a group; therefore, if you have multiple project concepts, pick the highest priority and dedicate the appropriate resources to making that project a successful proposal. 

If the applicant is not the primary landowner of the subject site, please obtain landowner permission and fill out the Provisional Landowner Access Agreement as part of this application, acquiring the necessary permission and signature.

Projects proposed for upland areas must demonstrate in their proposal a clear connection and benefit to the adjacent wetland habitat. 

Identify a Local Coastal Plan (LCP) or any other relevant plans that support the project.  Please list the LCP or other plan(s) name, date, and highlight the specific reference to the project site. Provide a link to the plan if it is available online or provide a hard copy with your proposal submission if the plan(s) is/are not available digitally.

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: To be eligible for funding, projects must meet the following general criteria:
    • Restoration or preservation of a coastal wetland or coastal stream corridor:
      • Projects must have as a primary goal the restoration of a coastal wetland – estuarine or vernal pool - or coastal stream corridor on public land in southern California from Point Conception to the Mexican border region, including watersheds in Mexico that drain to the Tijuana River
    • 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 restoration outcomes.
      • This education linked to a restoration experience provides 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 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, plus the following considerations 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.


  • Do not submit a vague proposal that merely states goals without a specific strategy and planned actions and a timeline to achieve those goals. Be specific.
  • 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.
  • The CWRGP will not fund experiments or research.
  • 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.