WHALE TAIL® grants support programs that teach California's children and the general public to value and take action to improve the health of the state's coast and ocean. Adopt-A-Beach® programs, as well as other beach maintenance 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.
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.