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Help support more WHALE TAIL® Grants by donating to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund at the bottom of your California State Tax Form!

The 2014/15 grantmaking cycle is now complete. Check back around Labor Day 2015 for an application for the next round of funding. See the selected 2014/15 grants.

Chaffee Zoo Teen LEADERS teach how people in Fresno can help protect the ocean.
Introduction: The WHALE TAIL®   Grants Program distributes funds from sales of the WHALE TAIL®   License Plate. The 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 marine and coastal resources. 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. This grants program focuses on reaching communities that are currently poorly served in terms of marine and coastal education.

Available Funding: A total of $345,100 will be distributed in the 2014 grant cycle. Applicants may request any amount up to $50,000, and 25-50% of the funding will be allocated in small grants under $10,000.

Categories of Grants: The WHALE TAIL®   Grants Program funds projects that fall into any one of the following three categories: 1) Adopt-A-Beach® programs; 2) Youth programs; 3) Programs for the general public. For the 2013/14 and 2014/15 grant cycles, we have added a special subcategory for projects addressing climate change and/or ocean acidification.

Eligibility: Applicants must be either a non-profit organization, a school, or a governmental entity. For beach operation and maintenance projects, the applicant must be a non-profit organization or local governmental agency. For proposals in the Adopt-A-Beach® category, both current and new Adopt-A-Beach® managers are eligible to apply.

Background: The program distributes funds from sales of the California Coastal Commission’s WHALE TAIL®   Coastal Protection License Plate. The WHALE TAIL®   License Plate is an official "specialty" license plate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for cars registered in California. 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.

Past Grant Recipients (full reports): 2013/2014, 2012/2013, 2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2009/2010, 2008/2009, 2007/2008, 2006/2007, 2005/2006

in MS Word or in PDF .

See also the examples of grant resolutions giving permission
to apply for a grant.

If you have any questions or need more information, you may

  • e-mail us at,
  • call us at (800) COAST 4U (800-262-7848),
  • or write to us at:

    WHALE TAIL®   Grants Program
    California Coastal Commission
    45 Fremont St., Suite 2000
    San Francisco, CA 94105

Map of all WHALE TAIL® Grant Recipients Since 1998

Map of Whale Tail Grants
Click here to access interactive map.
Click on markers to view project descriptions, and scroll through pages of our list of grantees.