Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
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The EEM Program is an annual program established by legislation in 1989 and amended on September 26, 2013. It offers grants to local, state, and federal governmental agencies, and to nonprofit organizations for projects to mitigate the environmental impacts caused by new or modified public transportation facilities. There are three types of EEM project: Urban Forestry, Resource Lands, and Mitigation Projects Beyond the Scope of the Lead Agency.



EEM projects must contribute to mitigation of the environmental effects of transportation facilities. The California Natural Resources Agency (Agency) prescribes procedures and criteria to evaluate grant project proposals and submits a list of projects recommended for funding to the California Transportation Commission (CTC). The CTC awards grants to projects from Agency’s list.

Related Transportation Facility

Every EEM project must mitigate, either directly or indirectly, the environmental impacts of the modification of an existing Transportation Facility or the environmental impacts of the construction of a new Transportation Facility (hereafter referred to as Related Transportation Facility or RTF). The EEM project can be the required mitigation for the RTF or enhancement to mitigation required for the RTF.

Statewide Project Goals

Agency grant programs assist state and local entities in developing more sustainable communities, increasing their adaptability to climate change, and protecting biodiversity while improving quality of life in those communities. EEM Projects that demonstrate the following multiple benefits will be more competitive:

• Decreased air and/or water pollution.

• Reduced consumption of natural resources and energy.

• Increased reliability of local water supplies.

• Increased adaptability to climate change.

• Increased protection of biodiversity

Examples of Eligible Projects

The list below provides examples of project elements that meet statutory conditions. It is not a comprehensive list.

Urban Forestry:

• Planting of trees and other plants along urban streets and medians.

• Greening existing public lands and structures, including school campuses and urban parks.

• Greening vacant lots and abandoned sites.

• Restoration of urban creeks.

Resource Lands:

• Removal of invasive and restoration of natural plant species.

• Enhancement or restoration of natural areas such as inland wetlands, forests, oak woodlands, mountain meadows, creeks, and streams with riparian or riverine fish or wildlife habitat, wildlife corridors and fish passages, coastal estuaries, grazing land and grasslands.

• Acquisitions in fee title or through conservation easements to safeguard regional water supplies, protect riparian and wildlife habitats, conserve agricultural lands for secure wildlife migration corridors, and provide public access for compatible wildlife/natureoriented recreation by the wider community.

• Acquisitions to preserve in perpetuity Resource Lands for agricultural uses, open space, wetlands, biodiversity, etc.

Mitigation Projects Beyond the Scope of the Lead Agency:

Any of the project examples listed under Urban Forestry and Resource Lands categories may be eligible under the Mitigation Projects Beyond the Scope of the Lead Agency category, if the mitigation or enhancement measures for the RTF were either not feasible or beyond the jurisdiction and/or authority of the Lead Agency for the RTF.

Project Criteria Questions

Applicants must choose only one project category and provide responses to all the questions in the selected category. If a question does not apply to the project, indicate “Not Applicable” with a brief explanation.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency

Local, state, and federal agencies and 501(c)(3) nonprofit entities may apply. The applicant entity isn't required to be a transportation- or highway-related organization but must be able to demonstrate adequate charter or enabling authority to carry out the type of project proposed and be eligible for funding under Article XIX of the State Constitution. Partnerships are encouraged; however, a project proposal can only be submitted by one entity.

Eligible Geographies:


North/South Split

An attempt will be made to award 40% of the total funding to projects in northern counties and 60% of the total funding to projects in southern counties. The following are defined as southern counties: San Luis Obispo, Kern, Mono, Tulare, Inyo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial. All other counties are considered northern counties

Matching Funding Requirement:

Matching funds are not required for EEM Program grants. However, project proposals which include other sources of funds for the proposed project may be more competitive.

Applicants who have obtained, or are planning to obtain, other sources of funds for a project should identify each source of funding separately on the Cost Estimate (Appendix D or E), including other State of California funds and in-kind contributions.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
March 2023
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
March 1, 2026

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

This program, as provided by California Streets and Highways Code Section 164.56 (Article XIX, Section 1, of the State Constitution), authorizes the legislature to allocate up to $7 million each fiscal year from the Highway Users Tax Account (Motor Vehicle Revenues, Section 2100).


The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Funding is made available via reimbursement payments. For acquisition projects, grantee may request an advance of funds into escrow (subject to retention).

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.