WHALE TAIL® grants support experiential education and stewardship of the California coast and its watersheds. Shoreline cleanup and coastal habitat restoration projects that have an educational component are also eligible for these grants. WHALE TAIL® grants focus on reaching communities that are poorly served in terms of marine and coastal education, and strive for a broad geographic distribution throughout California.
Approximate $300,000 will be distributed in the 2019/20 grant cycle. Applicants may request any amount up to $50,000, and 25-50% of the funding will be allocated in small grants up to $12,000.
Projects may fall into the following categories: 1) shoreline cleanup and enhancement programs (such as Adopt-A-Beach®); 2) youth education programs; 3) programs for educating the general public. Applicants can also request funding under two special subcategories: a) projects addressing climate change as it relates to the ocean or coastline; b) grants for organizations with annual operating budgets of $500,000 or less, that are working with underserved communities.
Applicants may be either a non-profit organization, school or school district, or a government entity. Projects funded by WHALE TAIL® grants must serve audiences in California.
This program distributes funds from sales of the WHALE TAIL® Coastal Protection License Plate and from donations to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund listed on the California state tax form. The WHALE TAIL® License Plate is an official specialty license plate issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Proceeds from the sales of the plates benefit the California Coastal Commission's Adopt-A-Beach® Program, California Coastal Cleanup Day and a wide variety of coastal and marine education projects throughout the state. The Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund is one of the "tax check-off" funds listed on the California state tax form, offering taxpayers the option to provide voluntary donations of any amount. Proceeds from contributions to this fund specifically benefit the WHALE TAIL® Grants Program. Since the WHALE TAIL® Grants Program began in 1998, it has awarded $13.3 million to more than 700 projects.