Congratulations on receiving a Whale Tail® Grant!

Please submit invoices, reports, and other grants correspondence by email rather than postal mail whenever possible.

The below items will help you comply with your contract requirements. Please don't hesitate to contact your Grant Manager at with any questions. (This page was last updated on January 18, 2024.)

  • Invoicing instructions for reimbursement. Please share this document with the people who will be making grant purchases and preparing invoices. This guidance document includes detailed invoicing instructions and our typical reporting requirements. For your grant's specific reporting requirements, please see your signed grant agreement.
  • Fillable invoice template in Word or PDF. You can use one of these templates or your own invoice format. If you create your own invoice, be sure that it includes the level of detail required for your Whale Tail Grant. See Invoice Checklist.
  • Invoice Checklist to review before submitting an invoice. This checklist is just for your use and does not need to be submitted with your invoice.
  • Travel Expense Claim form for you to complete, sign, and include with your invoice if you are billing for travel expenses. Here's an example of what your completed Travel Expense Claim form might look like if you were to invoice for mileage, parking, and rental car, with the sections for you to complete highlighted in yellow. If you are unable to edit an Excel spreadsheet, or have any trouble with this form, please contact for assistance with your travel invoice. (The above form has a mileage reimbursement rate of 67 cents/mile effective as of January 1, 2024. When invoicing for mileage that took place during 2023, please use this form, which has the previous reimbursement rate of 65.5 cents/mile. If you are invoicing for mileage that took place between July 1 and December 31, 2022, use this form, with the reimbursement rate of 62.5 cents/mile. If you are invoicing for mileage that took place before July 1, 2022, the rate was 58.5 cents/mile.)
    If your travel consists only of school or charter bus fees, you do not need to submit a Travel Expense Claim form with your invoice.
  • WHALE TAIL® Grant reporting
    Please refer to your signed grant agreement for your specific reporting requirements, found in Exhibit A. If your grant requires progress reports, those dates will be noted there. For competitive WHALE TAIL® Grants, progress reports can be submitted by email or you can make an appointment to do them as a conversation by phone. A progress report is a brief check-in for you to let us know if your project is on schedule with the timeline in your grant agreement, or if there are any issues to bring up or changes you may need to request. It's also an opportunity to share any successes, upcoming events, or photos. Progress reports should not be time-consuming to prepare so please get in touch with your Grant Manager if you are unsure of what to include.
    At any time, during a progress report or otherwise, please don't hesitate to contact your Grant Manager about upcoming events or announcements regarding your grant project which might be appropriate for the Coastal Commission to consider promoting on our social media.
    Your final grant report is a detailed, written document submitted by email to your Grant Manager at the end of your grant project. You will find a list of questions to answer and things to include in your final report in Exhibit A of your grant agreement. You should review this section before you start your project so that you can be sure to collect the information needed for your report. Here's a Word document with what to include in your final report, if you prefer to work from that.
  • Funding credit logo for you to use on webpages, social media, flyers, booklets, or any other printed or visual materials that will be created as part of the program receiving funding. Funding for our grants program is made possible by sales of the WHALE TAIL® License Plate, donations to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund on the California state tax return, and funds from the State of California. Your grant agreement includes language requiring acknowledgement of support from the Coastal Commission and funding sources, including using the logo where possible, on publicity, outreach, and educational materials prepared as part of the grant project, and when publicizing such work in any media. You will include evidence showing how and where you acknowledged your funding source in your final grant report.