Land Preservation in Orange County
The Measure M2 Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program allocates funds to acquire land and fund habitat restoration projects in exchange for streamlined project approvals for the 13 M2 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.
In November 2010, the Board allocated $42 million to purchase open space in Orange County during the first round of funding. In 2011, OCTA acquired more than 950 acres of open space in the Trabuco Canyon area and in Brea. Approximately $7 million remains for additional acquisitions, and the funds are expected to be allocated within the next several months.
In September 2010, approximately $5.5 million was allocated to restore approximately 180 acres of open space lands throughout Orange County. In May 2012, $4.7 million was allocated to restore another 214 acres.
Additional funds for acquisitions and restoration will be available subsequent to the completion of the current expenditure. Available funds will be dependent on the sales tax revenue stream in the future.
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