Donor Spotlight: The Coastal Fund

Donor Spotlight: The Coastal Fund

At Wilderness Youth Project, we have become deeply connected to our coastal ecosystems at places like Gaviota, Haskell’s Beach, Ellwood, Campus Point, and many more beaches from Goleta to Carpinteria. Witnessing many of our participants explore our local coast for the first time in their lives, we understand the power of the sand, surf, and salty air to make kids smarter, healthier, and happier.

This is why WYP is incredibly excited to announce that The Coastal Fund at UC Santa Barbara has awarded our Bridge to Nature program $10,000 for the   year! To celebrate getting even more youth out to the beach, we want to introduce our community to the valuable work of The Coastal Fund and its inspiring vision for the future.

The Coastal Fund’s Mission

The Coastal Fund’s mission is “to connect people and the environment ​​by allocating funds to programs that celebrate, explore, and protect the coastal ecosystems in and around the University of California, Santa Barbara.” It funds coastal-related research, education, and conservation projects that align with its core values including:

  • Community 
  • Exploration
  • Joy
  • Opportunity
  • Protection
  • Trust

As an Associated Students organization at UC Santa Barbara, The Coastal Fund is student-led and -funded, receiving its budget from annual student fees. Therefore, it strives to fund projects that involve or interest UCSB students such as the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) and Your Children’s Trees.

The Coastal Fund and Wilderness Youth Project

The Coastal Fund sees so many of its values in WYP’s Bridge to Nature program, according to its chair Ethan Estrada. “One of WYP’s goals is addressing socioeconomic barriers and [creating] coastal fun,” he explains. “One of our big components is also opportunity and access to these coastal environments. That's what I remember sticking out to me about Wilderness Youth Project.”

Although many of its funded projects closely relate to conservation-based efforts like preventing oil drilling at Coal Oil Point, the Coastal Fund has worked toward elevating environmental literacy and education programs. Its vision for the future is to fund more organizations like WYP in order to reach underserved communities, connect them with nature, and transform learning and exploration into activism.

“That passion, that love for nature and the coast is going to be what drives people to want to make a change, and continue on the path of environmental awareness,” says Coastal Fund vice-chair Mykala Listorti. “So I think it's really important work that Wilderness Youth Project is doing, and I thought that it was a great organization to fund.”

Thank you, Coastal Fund

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to The Coastal Fund for supporting our Bridge to Nature program and sharing our passion for nature connection on the Santa Barbara coast.

Build a Bridge to Nature Today

You can support this WYP program by making a donation online today and helping a local kid have their first-ever beach day.

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