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Coastal Commission grants go to pair of programs focused on Sonoma Coast

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Two Sonoma County ocean education projects have received nearly $33,000 in grants from the California Coastal Commission.

Coastwalk California, a Sebastopol-based nonprofit that supports statewide coastal protection, got $23,150 for an Adopt-A-Beach program in Sonoma County. The organization will set up a website to coordinate volunteer cleanup efforts on local waterways.

The website will map locations available for cleanups, provide a place for posting reports on the litter removed by volunteers and a list of cleanup supplies available from Coastwalk.

Fort Ross Conservancy, a Jenner-based nonprofit that supports programs at Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park, received $9,740 for a marine ecology program for students from Sonoma and Mendocino counties, including youth from the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians at Stewarts Point Rancheria, and from around the Bay Area.

Students visiting Fort Ross will learn about the area’s plants and animals and take a count of the sea lions and other marine mammals they observe, and some will spend a night at the coast.

State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, said the grants will “help neighbors get involved in coastal cleanups and open up one of our state’s historic treasures, Fort Ross, to some of our county’s neediest kids.”

The commission awarded a total of more than $750,000 in grants to 36 projects in 18 counties. Revenue for the grants came from whale tail license plate sales, which supports a variety of coastal and marine education and conservation programs.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @guykovner.

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