Community action grants available for water projects

Press release

By on Wed, November 3, 2010

The San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, a program of the City/County Association of Governments, is seeking for proposals from local community groups, teachers, environmental organizations, and other non-profit associations to fund projects that enhance and protect the health of local watersheds, creeks, the San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.  SMCWPPP offers a total of $15,000 in Community Action Grants each year, with up to $3,000 awarded per project.  Interested parties are encouraged to apply by November 19, 2010.

Eligible projects should promote stormwater pollution prevention and contain a public outreach element.  Sample projects could include (but are not limited to):

  • Outreach and education projects with a stormwater pollution prevention message and a watershed, household hazardous waste, litter, or Integrated Pest Management component.
  • Development and distribution of outreach materials (e.g., video, newsletter, website, brochures, guidebook, and others).
  • Creek-side restoration/revegetation projects (erosion control, planting, cleanup, non-native species removal, habitat enhancement, and marsh restoration)
  • Art projects with a stormwater pollution prevention message. Creek studies/survey projects.

Last year, six organizations received grant funding for both new and ongoing projects. 2009-2010 Grant Recipients included:

  • The San Francisquito Creek Watershed Project, coordinated by the local Palo Alto nonprofit, Acterra, received a grant award for the seventh year.  This project enlisted the community in reestablishing healthy native creek-side habitat at eight long-term sites in the watershed, including removal of debris and non-native species, and planting of native vegetation.
  • The Marine Science Institute (MSI), in Redwood City received funding for their “Hey!  No Trash in the Bay!” Campaign.  Signs were installed at the MSI facility located on the Bay across from Bair Island to promote litter prevention to the 25,000 visitors to MSI each year, mostly elementary students.
  • The Pacifica Beach Coalition of Pacifica received funds to help with the coordination of the yearly “Earth Day Pacifica” day of action event.  The community was enlisted to pick up litter and help restore habitat at more than 100 locations throughout the city including beaches, bluffs, and creeks. Approximately 5,000 volunteers and 200 businesses participated.
  • Save our Shores received funding for the project “Breakfast on a Clean Beach Half Moon Bay.”  Two beach clean up events were scheduled in Half Moon Bay with an educational focus on the negative impacts of single-use plastics and preferred alternatives (reusable bags, coffee mugs, etc).  Volunteers were treated to a breakfast provided by local grocers following the clean up activities.
  • Ocean Shore School in Pacifica received funds for students during Oceans Week.  Oceans Week started out with an educational assembly. Three field trips brought students to different locations within the coastal zone where they removed non-native plants and planted natives.
  • Hands on Bay Area received funding for the project “Spruce up Half Moon Bay State Beach.” In partnership with the Disney Give a Day get a Disney Day promotion, this project supplemented the ongoing three-year native plant replacement project underway at Half Moon Bay beaches.

Applications are available now for the 2010-2011 grants, with a November 19, 2010 deadline!  Find the application and more information about the Community Action Grant on our website at

San Mateo County residents can find opportunities to volunteer w ith projects that improve water quality on our online calendar of events: