Octa's transportation blog

Endowment Fund on Track to Maintain Conservation Habitat

As part of its commitment to a balanced and sustainable transportation future for Orange County, OCTA developed a Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan, acquired conservation properties, and funded habitat restoration projects to mitigate the impacts of Measure M2 freeway programs. Years in the making and requiring cooperation from multiple entities, the conservation plan ensures more than 1,300 acres of OCTA wilderness preserves will remain forever protected from development.

In addition, the conservation plan provides a path forward for OCTA's OC Go, formerly Measure M, Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program. The  program allocates funds to acquire land and fund habitat restoration projects in exchange for streamlined project approvals for the 13 OC Go freeway improvement projects. Acquired properties are purchased and permanently preserved as open space. Funded restoration projects restore preserved open space lands to their native habitat and include the removal of invasive plant species.

The conservation plan demonstrates that sufficient conservation is being provided to address the biological mitigation related to the freeway projects; an accompanying agreement streamlines the environmental permitting process and will help freeway projects reach completion faster.

The California Community Foundation (CCF) manages the endowment required to fund the long-term management of the conservation properties. Recently, CCF provided a comprehensive report detailing the composition of the investment pool and its performance. Based on CCF’s performance to date, OCTA remains on track to meet the endowment target in fiscal year 2028.

For more information about the plan, visit here.