Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund

What's New

On May 11, 2021, the Board of Supervisors granted Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund awards, allocating $586,424 to the eight proposals listed below.

Coastal Resources Enhancement Fund 2020-2021 AWARDS
Proposal Title Grantee Amount
NewTracks Trax Devices Nature Track $26,272
Upgrades to Seabird Complex Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network $50,662
Marine Conservation Education Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife $33,929
Watershed Brigade Project Channelkeeper $5,000
Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration City of Santa Barbara $50,000
Cabrillo High School Aquarium Exhibit Lompoc Unified School District $90,000
Orella Ranch Conservation Easement Land Trust for SBC $293,212
Marine-Themed Exhibits Santa Maria Natural History Museum $37,349



The County established the Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund (Fund) in 1987 to help mitigate significant impacts of offshore oil and gas development to coastal aesthetics, coastal recreation, coastal tourism, and environmentally sensitive coastal resources. In effect, the County awards grants from Fund to enhance these specific coastal resources pursuant to the Board-approved Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund Guidelines . A description of these and other grants can be found in the annual Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund Status Report  (see below).

  • A little less than half of these mitigation funds have been used to acquire coastal properties or conservation easements. For example, the Fund helped purchase key bluff-top properties, such as the Carpinteria Bluffs, the Douglas property in the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Shores in Ellwood, and Point Sal near Guadalupe. It also helped to acquire properties that protect environmentally sensitive coastal habitats, such as Burton Mesa chaparral near Lompoc, Monarch butterfly foraging habitat in Ellwood, and the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.                     
  • The second largest amount of funds have been devoted to developing or improving coastal parks and other coastal-related facilities such as the Cabrillo Aquarium near Lompoc, the Dunes Center in Guadalupe, and the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach. 
  • A small portion has funded Planning & Research, which mainly includes preparing master plans for coastal properties.
  • A small portion has funded educational projects. Typically a small grant of less than $25,000, this type of project can have a big impact. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Los Marineros curriculum, Dunes Center's many exhibits, and La Purisima Audubon Society's Snowy Plover video educate students and adults about the fragile marine environment and the ways to protect it.


The County will be conducting a reassessment of the Fund's fees for the five-year period of 2023-2027 in summer of 2022 and soliciting proposals for a combined 2022-2023 cycle in fall of 2022. If you are interested in being on the mailing list or if you have any questions, please contact Kathy Pfeifer.


Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund Guidelines

Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund Annual Status Report