What is the Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program?

The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program is an initiative to support community organisations to protect and enhance the coastal and near-shore marine environment.

 

Background

The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program is funded by the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund which seeks to build community capacity, support community adaptation and improve ecosystem resilience to climate change.

The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program aims to support the three pillars in the Coastcare Victoria Strategy 2020-2025:

  • Marine and Coastal Stewardship – conservation, rehabilitation, restoration and preventative actions for Victoria’s coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Thriving Marine and Coastal Community Groups and Networks – supporting community organisations to diversify, plan for the future and be responsive to change.
  • Victorians Valuing the Coast – supporting community participation, engagement and education to enhance community knowledge and understanding of coastal and marine management.

 

Funding

Two categories of the Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program are available in 2020:

  • Stewardship and Education Grants – To build community capacity, support community adaptation and improve ecosystem resilience to climate change through actions which:
    • Conserve, rehabilitate, restore and protect Victoria’s coastal and marine ecosystems
    • Support community participation, engagement and education to enhance community knowledge and understanding of coastal and marine management
  • Strengthening Our Volunteer Groups Grants* – To build community capacity and support community adaptation to climate change through actions which:
    • Expand, diversify and increase inclusivity of volunteer bases (e.g. encourage participation of volunteers from different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, abilities and youth)
    • “Reimagine volunteering” to attract more/ different volunteers e.g. flexible, casual, event-based or shortterm volunteering
    • Improve volunteer recruitment and retention
    • Succession planning for your group

*Project must focus primarily on marine and coastal volunteering in Victoria.

 

Eligible Projects

Category 1: Stewardship and Education

Examples of applications Coastcare Victoria is seeking include projects which:

  • Protect, rehabilitate and enhance coastal and marine habitats, waterways and wetlands by stabilising dunes, mitigate the effects of coastal erosion, establishing wildlife corridors or enhancing/protecting high quality remnant native coastal habitat.
  • Establish or contribute to long term community based ‘citizen science’ programs for monitoring of coastal or marine environments as well as marine species.
  • Protect critical habitat for coastal and marine species, e.g. nesting sites, feeding sites, roosting sites, aggregation sites, from the impacts of threats including pest animals and domestic animal disturbance.
  • Increase participation of individuals and communities in coastal and marine conservation projects, including enhancing skills and knowledge and raising community awareness.
  • Reduce or control marine plastic pollution.
  • Foster new partnerships between community groups and organisations working to protect the coast.
  • Educate the community about caring for Victorian marine and coastal environments. Focus will be on how communities understand dynamic coastal landscapes, and how they can adapt to climate change.

Category 2: Strengthening Our Volunteer Groups (marine and coastal volunteering)

This is a new grants category for Coastcare Victoria, designed to support the second strategic pillar of the Coastcare Victoria Strategy 2020-2025:

  • Thriving Marine and Coastal Community Groups and Networks – supporting community organisations to diversify, plan for the future and be responsive to change.

Coastcare Victoria is looking forward to receiving a diverse range of innovative applications. Below are two case studies which provide examples of suitable projects:

  • Case Study 1: Eco Peako – Planting, weeding and music on the Merri Creek: Friends of Merri Creek
    Eco Peako combines live music with active invasive weed management along the Merri Creek, providing young adults with basic weed identification skills, knowledge of local weed species, and connections to local conservation activities.
  • Case Study 2: Planning for Success: Geelong Animal Rescue GAR Ltd
    Address priorities for the long-term sustainability of GAR including strategic planning, succession planning and mentoring. Project aims to reduce burnout and ensure a sustainable and efficient future for its leadership, volunteers and organisation.

The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program will support the following categories of expenditure (note this list is not exhaustive – please discuss your project and items to be funded with your local Coastcare Victoria Facilitator):

  • Advertising;
  • Environmental assessments*;
  • Equipment hire or purchase directly related to project’s on-ground components**;
  • Materials (e.g. chemicals, plants, etc);
  • Printing / design;
  • Rubbish removal (if necessary, prior to site restoration);
  • Site preparation;
  • Training and certification (if directly related to funded activity);
  • Contractors*;
  • Exclusion fencing;
  • Personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, goggles and masks);
  • Postage;
  • Project coordination*^;
  • Signage;
  • Site security;
  • Pilot projects;
  • Costs of permits, Cultural Heritage checks etc directly related to the project;

*MUST demonstrate that contractors, environmental assessment and/or project coordination are essential to facilitate the on-ground works component of the project and are for tasks which your group is unable to carry out.

** Capital items must become a registered asset of the entity

*^ A maximum of 15% of total grant allocation can be used for project coordination (e.g. management of resources, meetings, information, project plans and schedules, administrative tasks, risks, reporting, stakeholders).

 

Eligible Applicants

The following community groups and organisations with a focus on marine and coastal environs are eligible for the Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program:

  • Coastcare Victoria groups
  • Landcare groups
  • ‘Friends of’ gro