2022 Caring for our Coasts Grantees Announced

Restore America’s Estuaries awards $30,000 to Gulf Region Organizations

By Briana Yancy

Photo courtesy of CRCL

Restore America’s Estuaries is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2022 Caring for our Coasts grant program in partnership with Citgo. The goal of the program is to increase the impact of volunteer events with an emphasis on engaging diverse Gulf-region communities in the protection of their local natural resources.  

RAE  has taken strides to improve access to grant funding and to promote inclusivity in project implementation in our own grants. We nearly doubled the maximum amount of funding available to grantees from 2021 of this program and we have made it easier to apply and report by shortening the application process and changing how we define deliverables. 

This year RAE selected nine grant recipients, each of which is leading an innovative, high-impact project of regional importance. Altogether, $30,000 in funds were awarded to protect and restore vital coastal habitat in the Gulf Coast Region.  

The 2022 CITGO Gulf Region Grants Program is funding the following projects: 

Launch Leeville | Root for Leeville, Clean Up & Plant a Tree! 

Clean up hurricane debris within Bayou Lafourche and along the banks, that remains. Also, plant precious trees, indigenous to the area such as Bald cypress and citrus trees. 

Bay Area Women’s Coalition, Incorporated (BAWC) | Trinity Gardens Beautification Project

During this week-long project BAWC will distribute at least 500+ kits throughout the community with culturally sensitive educational information about the importance of keeping a neighborhood litter/debris free and the impact on watersheds and eco-systems, general information about caring for yards, calendar of garbage and trash pick-up, trash bags, disposal gloves; and packets of seeds to plant. 

Suncoast Aqua Ventures | Suncoast Aqua Ventures Monthly Clean Up and Plantings  

While cleaning up shorelines covered in Marine debris and fishing line, Suncoast Aqua Ventures will also plant vegetation that supports wildlife and provides other ecosystem services. 

Keep Pinellas Beautiful | Lake Moccasin Nature Park Revitalization Initiative 

Revitalize and ensure the conservation of the Moccasin Lake Nature Park through quarterly beautification/restoration projects, native species plantings, education and engagement.  

Trees on the Coast | Okaloosa Community Wildlife Habitat Park Cleanup 

Host volunteer‐based community cleanups at 12 county parks located throughout Okaloosa County in partnership with Destin – Fort Walton Beach, Keep Florida Beautiful (KFB) and Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA).

Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust | San Antonio Bay Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Project 

GBRT will utilize funds to enhance and expand the scope and coordination of abandoned crab trap removal activities along the San Antonio Bay coast. 

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana | Student Beach Clean Up

CRCL will host a one-to-two-day beach cleanup project that will combine our student engagement programs with a hands-on restoration activity. The  event will lead 50-60  students on a guided bus tour from New Orleans along Bayou Lafourche, a significant water source and tributary for Louisiana residents, to Elmer’s Island, a critical barrier beachfront, for a community beach cleanup. 

Audubon Delta | Least Tern Important Bird Area Dune Planting Event 

Audubon staff and volunteers will restore habitat along a stretch of recreational beach in Harrison County, Mississippi. This project will take place within a formally recognized Important Bird Area (IBA), designated by the Mississippi Secretary of State as the Gulfport IBA – Tern Sanctuary, a globally recognized conservation area that is vital to Least Terns.

Sankofa Community Development Corporation | Sankofa Wetland Park Groundbreaking and Volunteer Event 

Our proposed event is a three-day volunteer and groundbreaking event, volunteer cleanup and tree planting, and educational workshops at the Sankofa Wetland Park and Nature Trail in association with Earth Day in April 2022. The event will launch the restoration of the additional 32-acres of the park to be completed in December 2022.