Grants available for projects that advance living shorelines for coastal resilience

The Honda Marine Science Foundation (HMSF) is offering grants for projects that advance the understanding and/or implementation of living shorelines.

HMSF will select an estimated 4-6 grantees per year. With an estimated $300,000 available in grant funds annually, grant amounts may range from $25,000-$75,000.

Honda created the Honda Marine Science Foundation based on the idea that humans can and should have a mutually beneficial relationship with coastal ecosystems. This idea is known as “sato-umi”. In Japanese, “sato” means the area where people live, and “umi” means the sea. Sato-umi is a coastal area where biological productivity and biodiversity thrive due to human interaction.

Eligible Organizations: 501(c)(3) public charities

Honda Marine Science Foundation is unable to fund mitigation projects or programs that are required by a separate federal, state, or locally issued permit, decree, or enforcement action.

Geographic Scope
Currently, priority is given to coastal regions in Washington, Oregon, California, and/or Hawaii.

Funding Priority
HMSF is focusing on projects that advance the understanding and/or implementation of living shorelines, which are natural approaches to protecting coastal habitats and communities (“community” is interpreted very broadly beyond strictly geographical parameters). They also provide habitat value, enhance coastal resilience, and boost ecosystem services.

Grantmaking Criteria:

Purpose of Project

  • Advancement of ecosystem and natural resources protection and restoration along the coast through living shorelines;
  • Conserve and enhance biodiversity and ecological integrity of the coast;
  • Balance sensitive habitat protection and public access.

Broader Impacts

  • Increase awareness about threats to coastal habitats and communities, and the role living shorelines play in addressing these threats;
  • Promote education through research, encouraging projects that further the understanding of how to effectively advance living shorelines and the role living shorelines play in addressing coastal threats.


  • Project timeline up to 2 years;
  • Ability to serve as a model for or inform future projects or programs.

Need and Support

  • Public support (in the form of three support letters);
  • Grant matching: Projects must show matching contributions of funds or in-kind services. Proof of grant matching is not required in the LOI, but will be required in the final application.

Special Considerations

  • Gap Funding: Special consideration may be given to projects that have a gap in funding or are at the “last mile”, such as projects that are close to completion but ran out of funds and need just enough to complete the project, develop a model, or conduct an event;
  • Shovel-Ready: Special consideration may be given to projects where the design and permits are in place and the project just needs the funds to get started and do the project;
  • Mitigation: Although mitigation projects will not be considered, special consideration may be given to explore a living shorelines-based “experiment” associated with a mitigation project to enhance its conservation value that would require additional funds. The learnings must be shared with the mitigation authority.

In addition to the above criteria, projects should integrate the sato-umi philosophy of prolonged human interaction, and should achieve one or more of the following:

  • Create hands-on conservation activities for the public, inside and outside the local community;
  • Enhance economic benefits to the local community;
  • Facilitate an experiential activity in the conservation area for the public; and
  • Integrate historical information and story-telling into the conservation process and public experience.

Grantmaking Process
This is a two-stage process. First, a Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted. Potential applicants will be selected and notified. Second, a full application must be submitted for review.

  •  Length: not to exceed 3 pages
  • Format: Times New Roman size 12 font, double-spaced with 1 inch margins. Submissions must be in PDF format.
  • Content:
    • Executive Summary
    • Statement of Need
    • Project Description
    • Timeline
    • Intended Outcomes
    • Budget
    • Credentials
    • Conclusion
    • Attachments

To apply, send the Letter of Intent to: by midnight PST on October 1, 2018. Selected applicants will be notified by December 1, 2018.

Invited applicants must submit applications by January 31, 2019. Selected grantees will be notified March 1, 2019.

Photo via Adobe Stock.

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