The California Watershed Protection Fund supports projects designed to benefit the water quality of many of California’s watersheds and their ecosystems. In this round of funding, we are considering projects in specific watersheds and their ecosystems: please see Eligibility Criteria (below) for a detailed list.
Due to the volume of applicants, we anticipate that this funding process will be very competitive and most grants awarded will be in the $7,500 – $25,000 range. While the Rose Foundation welcomes proposals from small grassroots conservation and environmental justice groups, please understand that all applicants must be able to demonstrate a strong track record of community-based water quality stewardship. If your organization is new or small (under $100,000 annual expenses), we urge you to consider applying to our California Environmental Grassroots Fund instead.
Projects Supported must be designed to benefit the water quality of the following watersheds and their ecosystems:
Southern California Bight with an emphasis on Los Angeles area waterbodies, including specific limited funds for Compton Creek, Santa Ana River, and San Gabriel River, and projects that reduce plastic water pollution.
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (with a preference for projects located within the Delta or in San Joaquin County), the Sacramento River (projects related to wastewater treatment encouraged), and the Feather River.
Santa Maria River Watershed, including San Antonio Creek and Orcutt Creek.
San Francisco Bay.
Mad River Watershed and very limited funds for Arcata Bay and Humboldt Bay.
There are very limited funds for Half Moon Bay Basin in San Mateo County.
Applicant requirements: Projects with substantial community participation and/or support are encouraged. The applicant must demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed project, including experience in successfully conducting similar or otherwise related work in the past.
Environmental Justice: While this is not specifically an environmental justice fund, supporting environmental and social justice is a core organizational value that guides all of our grantmaking. Projects that advance environmental justice as well as water quality will receive preference.
Duration of Support: Most grants are for a one-year period; however, you do not have to ask for a one-year grant. It is permitted to request a shorter or longer grant period if that is what you need.
Frequency of Applying: Organizations that have been funded may only re-apply in the next cycle after their grant report has been submitted and approved. Organizations with an active grant from this Fund are not eligible to reapply.
Non-profit Status: The applicant must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity.
California Watershed Protection Fund grants are not recommended for very small organizations or first-time grant seekers.
To apply, applicants must complete a 2-step process using our online grant system. The first step is to submit a letter of inquiry. Any group that meets the eligibility criteria is welcome to submit a letter of inquiry. We expect to receive a large number of letters of inquiry. Because of limited funding, only a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.
Step 1: Letter of Inquiry
All interested applicants must submit an online letter of inquiry as an initial step. This letter allows Rose Foundation to determine if the proposal appears to be a good fit for the California Watershed Protection Fund.
If you are new to our online grants software, you must first register with your organization’s name, tax ID number, website address, telephone numbers, email address, mailing address, contact person’s name, and position. Your email address will be your logon ID, and you will set up a password. Log on or register here.
The letter of inquiry is an introduction to the applicant and the proposed project. There will be some questions regarding the applicant’s history, and questions about the project itself. Please use this opportunity to give us an idea of who you are and what you want to do.
Step 2: Application
If invited, applicants should submit the full application. This is where the applicant should provide detailed descriptions of the project, its outcomes, strategies, organizational and project financials, etc. Applicants will also have the opportunity to attach references and publications.
Deadlines and Submittal Process
Letters of Inquiry: Submit your Letter of Inquiry to Rose Foundation’s online grants application portal. The deadline for letters of inquiry is: February 15, 2021 at 5PM PST.
Full Proposals: After review of all Letters of Inquiry, a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit Full Proposals. If a full proposal is invited, it will be due: April 16, 2021 at 5PM PST.