- Conservation Framework and Conservation Strategy
Environmental Stewardship and Statewide Resources Office
Floodway Ecosystem Sustainability
Regional Advance Mitigation Planning (RAMP)
California’s public agencies spend billions of dollars each year on needed infrastructure projects to meet the growing need for roads, bridges, levees and other facilities. California hosts an extraordinarily rich array of valuable natural communities and ecosystems that provide habitat for rare wildlife, and are the source for Californians’ drinking water and open space for healthy recreation. As California grows, it is imperative that it be done in a manner that protects and enhances the state’s natural resources.
Regional Advance Mitigation Planning (RAMP) incorporates both a regional geographic component and an advance time frame. The regional component will allow state and federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of several planned infrastructure projects at once. The advance time frame will identify regional mitigation opportunities that will satisfy anticipated mitigation requirements early in the project planning and environmental review process, before the projects are in the final stages of approval.
Working together, natural resource and infrastructure agencies can estimate mitigation needs early in the projects’ timelines, avoiding permitting and regulatory delays and allowing public mitigation dollars to stretch further by securing and conserving valuable natural resources on a more economically efficient scale and before related real estate values escalate. Since we launched this effort three years ago, much has been accomplished:
- Federal and state agencies signed a Memorandum of Agreement that committed themselves to the goals of regional advance mitigation, to design a framework or program that would implement a RAMP and participate in a pilot project to test the concept.
- We are drafting documents that outline the goals of RAMP and create a policy and financial framework for how a program could work, based on the work on the pilot, policy research and other models.
- And legislation was introduced to establish a Regional Advance Mitigation program in the state (but has yet to pass).
The mission of the Floodway Ecosystem Sustainability Branch is: to achieve long-term improvements to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; native species populations; ecological processes; and agricultural and environmental stewardship to support a more sustainable flood management system.