34 Projects Will Enhance Critical Habitat and Improve Infrastructure for Walking, Biking, and Transit
San Diego County CA— The SANDAG Board of Directors awarded $5.6 million to jurisdictions and organizations throughout San Diego County today to fund projects that protect native wildlife and plant species through the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Grant Program (EMP) Land Management Grant Program, and that provide increased options for active transportation and access to transit through the TransNet Active Transportation Grant Program.
As part of their grant applications, the recipients have committed nearly $3 million in matching funds to complete the projects, resulting in more than $8 million in combined regional investments.
The TransNet EMP Land Management Grant Program funds will allow San Diego County, local organizations, and cities to preserve and enhance habitats for native wildlife and plants in San Diego. The western burrowing owl, a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the San Diego Thornmint, a rare, native plant protected under the California Endangered Species Act, are two of the native species that will benefit from these environmental projects. The efforts also will remove invasive, non-native plants in the region, which aids in the prevention of wildfires and floods and allows native plants to grow and thrive.
In this ninth funding cycle, SANDAG awarded a total of $2 million under the TransNet EMP Land Management Grant Program to 19 projects. These awards add to the nearly $15 million awarded to 98 projects in the previous eight funding cycles of the program. Those awards have leveraged more than $9 million in matching funds.
The TransNet Active Transportation Grants will fund efforts to increase opportunities for walking and biking, and to implement traffic calming measures throughout the region, such as enhancing bike parking facilities in National City and Del Mar, constructing buffered bike lanes and landscape medians in Solana Beach, and planning for safer pedestrian pathways and bike routes in El Cajon. These projects will help provide healthier transportation options, address traffic congestion, improve air quality, and improve public health.
In its fourth cycle, $3.6 million has been awarded to 15 projects under the TransNet Active Transportation Grant Program, building upon nearly $19 million for 64 projects in three previous cycles. The projects receiving funding today have leveraged approximately $2 million in local funds.
These grant programs are funded by the TransNet regional half-cent sales tax for transportation approved by San Diego County voters and supplemented with state Transit Development Act funds.