The Division of Coastal Management provides matching grants to local governments for projects to improve pedestrian access to the state's beaches and waterways. Information on previous grants awarded can be found on our Grants Awarded page.

The 2024-25 grant cycle is now closed. The 2025-26 pre-applications will be available in February 2025.


2024-25 Grant Application Cycle

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Eligible applicants include local governments in the 20 coastal counties and their municipalities that have public trust waters (ocean, estuarine or riverine waters) within their jurisdictions.


The application process has three steps: Pre-application, invitation to submit a Final Application, and grant contract approval. 

Local governments whose proposals are selected will be invited to submit a Final Application with more detailed project information.  

Application Cycle Important Dates
Pre-application Due April 15, 2024
Final Application Due July 15, 2024
Final Applicant Notified of Funding September/October 2024
Contracts Start November/December 2024






Examples of eligible projects include the following:

  • Land Acquisition/Easement
    • Purchase of land for future public access facilities.
    • Purchase of easements for public access.
      • Is it urgent? Request a waiver. A local government can request a waiver to purchase land to be considered for funding under a future grant application. Acquisition Waiver (PDF)
  • Construction Projects
    • Facilities such as ADA beach access mats, dune crossovers, boardwalks, and piers that provide access to the water
    • Support facilities such as parking areas, restrooms and other facilities.
    • Boat Launch facilities- boat launch and ramp facilities, whether motorized or not, may be part of a project provided pedestrian access is still a major component of the project.
    • Nature-based features may be part of a project provided pedestrian access is still a major component of the project, with nature-based features being used to support, protect and enhance access improvements.
  • Rehabilitation
    • Handicap facilities - applicants are encouraged to submit proposals designed to enhance handicap accessibility at existing facilities. Handicap facilities that exceed existing ADA requirements are encouraged.
    • Urban waterfront access sites - improved public access to deteriorating or underutilized urban waterfronts through reconstruction or rehabilitation.
    • Reconstruction or relocation of existing damaged public access facilities. Primarily for sites not originally funded by this program, or for improvements to any sites at least fifteen (15) years old.
  • Maintenance at previously funded sites 
    • For Tier 1 communities, routine maintenance of sites previously funded under the program. 


Criteria used to prioritize and select projects to receive grant assistance:

  • Pedestrian access must be a major component of the project;
  • Community’s history of previous assistance from this grant program;
  • Demonstrated need for the project due to high demand and availability and adequacy of opportunities in the area;
  • Project is identified in a local beach or waterfront access plan or certified CAMA Land Use Plan;
  • The commitment of matching funds meets or exceeds the minimum required local match; and
  • The community has demonstrated its ability to complete previous projects and/or has demonstrated its ability to operate and maintain previously funded facilities.
  • Priority will be given to:
    • Land acquisition projects, includes donated land deemed “unbuildable” due to regulations or physical limitations;
    • Projects whose site design exceeds ADA requirements; and
    • Projects whose site design incorporates resiliency via nature-based features to support, protect and enhance access improvements.

The Division of Coastal Management provides technical assistance to local governments. Contact your District Planner to discuss your application or project.

Grant Recipients

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Access grants are paid as reimbursements of actual expenses. DCM will reimburse only after the grantee’s required local cash match has been met. No grant funds may be dispersed prior to a grantee meeting its local cash match. 

Use this spreadsheet to track project expenses. Be sure to keep a copy of all applicable invoices.