About Us

The Coastal Fund is a student funded and student governed initiative at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Its mission is to connect people and the environment by allocating funds to programs that celebrate, explore, and protect the coastal ecosystems in and around the Santa Barbara area. As a funding organization, Coastal Fund seeks to acknowledge and lessen many of the inequities and power dynamics that have historically existed in the philanthropic sector and ensure that benefits are widely felt by the UCSB student body. We do this by lessening the barriers to apply for and receive funding, providing personalized guidance to applicants (including those who may have never written a grant before), ensuring that approved grants create equitably paid, accessible opportunities for students, and so on.

The Coastal Fund accepts proposals during three funding cycles throughout the year, one per academic quarter, and critically reviews them for consistency to the mission statement and values, relevance and benefit to UCSB students, and overall impact. Applicants present their proposals at board meetings which provide the two graduate and five undergraduate board members with an opportunity to ask specific questions to each applicant and learn about the project in detail. Proposals are funded in full, partially, or denied with feedback.

Originally named the Shoreline Initiative when it was launched in 1999 and renamed Coastal Fund in 2006, the program is funded via a lock-in fee that collects $3 from every UCSB graduate student every fall, winter and spring quarters, and $6.42 every fall, winter and spring quarter plus $3.42 every summer quarter from every UCSB undergraduate student. Collectively, these funds add up to approximately $497,000, over 90% of which is redistributed to the campus and community through our grant program. The remaining 10% of funds are used to pay the student staff who manage the program and other administrative costs.

See a list of projects and programs we have funded here.

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