SACRAMENTO – The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) in coordination with the California Transportation Commission (CTC) today announced more than $12 million in funding for 18 projects under CNRA's Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation (EEM) grant program. EEM provides grants to local, state and federal governmental agencies as well as nonprofit organizations for projects that mitigate environmental impacts produced by new or modified state transportation facilities.
"Local leaders and groups are implementing nature-based solutions across California to offset environmental impacts from transportation projects,” said Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “These projects help green our communities, provide residents new open spaces to enjoy, preserve our world-renowned biodiversity and build our state’s resilience to climate change. I’m eager to see these important projects get completed to deliver these community and environmental benefits.”
A few projects are highlighted below, with the full list of projects following:
The Truckee Donner Land Trust was awarded $1 million to acquire and permanently protect 1,057 acres of biodiverse, unfragmented coniferous forest, sagebrush, meadow, and riparian habitat in the Martis Valley of the Truckee River watershed.
The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation was awarded $500,000 to expand the urban forest by planting 1,600 trees and other vegetation in a disadvantaged and park-poor community of South Los Angeles. New trees will be planted along a former rail line on Slauson Avenue being redesigned by the LA County Metro Transit Authority as a new multi-purpose path. The project will transform an urban landscape into a green corridor with native species, will sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, reduce temperatures, infiltrate stormwater, and encourage public transportation.
The Sierra Foothill Conservancy was awarded $339,584 to acquire a conservation easement on a 1,030-acre portion of a larger 2,300-acre property located in Madera County along the Chowchilla River. The project will permanently conserve oak savannah/woodlands, grasslands, and valley oak riparian habitat and is a keystone of the Conservancy’s focus area that aims to protect and connect more than 30,000 acres of public and private land.
The Chaparral Lands Conservancy was awarded $499,984 to restore five acres of sensitive vernal pools and maritime succulent scrub habitat located on the Clayton preserve property in western Otay Mesa, in the city of San Diego.
For the 2020-21 grant cycle, CNRA evaluated 29 applications and recommended funding for 18 projects. Specifically, CNRA recommended funding six projects in the northern part of the state for more than $4.3 million and 12 projects in the southern portion of the state for more than $7.7 million. The CTC approved and allocated funding for all 18 projects. Money for the grants comes from fuel taxes distributed to CNRA by the California Department of Transportation.
Grant Awardees By County:Alameda County:
- City of Berkeley, $500,000, Trees Make Life Better.
- American River Conservancy, $1,000,000, Lewis Ranch Greenwood Creek Conservation Project.
- City of Los Angeles - Bureau of Sanitation, $500,000, Slauson Corridor: Making Connections.
- Claremont Wildlands Conservancy, $1,000,000, Clara Oaks Acquisition Project.
- Koreatown Youth and Community Center, $500,000, Purple Line Trees for Equitable Canopy.
- Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, $1,000,000, Temescal Ranch Acquisition Project-Phase 3.
- National Wildlife Federation, $500,000, Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon Road.
- The Trust for Public Land, $1,000,000, Escondido Falls Trail Extension Project.
- Sierra Foothill Conservancy, $339,584, Wandern Ranch Conservation Easement Acquisition Phase.
- Save the Redwoods League, $550,000, Montgomery Woods Expansion Project.
- Truckee Donner Land Trust, $1,000,000, Martis Valley Headwaters Project.
- Oswit Land Trust, $700,673, Mesquite Ridge Acquisition Project.
- City of Chino Hills, $317,415, Eucalyptus Nature Park Project.
- Lakeside's River Park Conservancy, $499,921, Urban Forestry: Shading the San Diego River Trail in Lakeside.
- The Chaparral Lands Conservancy, $499,984, Otay Mesa Habitat Restoration Project II.
- Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, $775,500, Miossi Trust Ranch Conservation Easement.
- Regents of the University of California- Santa Barbara, $491,130, UCSB Campus Point: Coastal Terrace Restoration.
- Sonoma Land Trust, $1,000,000, Felder Ranch Conservation Easement.
The Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program encourages projects that yield multiple benefits connected to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other risks associated with climate change and that demonstrate collaboration to protect and conserve natural resources.