Regional Conservation Investment Strategy

The Monterey County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) will assess the vulnerability of species and habitat to climate change related stressors (drought, wildfire, and landslides, etc.); develop conservation strategies to improve resiliency from the identified stressors; and define a framework to finance the implementation of these conservation strategies as compensatory mitigation from new transportation improvements.  The types of conservation strategies that are eligible to be included in an RCIS will both directly and indirectly contribute to the climate resiliency of Monterey County’s transportation infrastructure, including wildlife crossings, wetlands restoration, and habitat acquisition and conservation.

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Report Chapters

July 15, 2020 Public Meeting

Upcoming Stakeholder Group Meetings

None at this time.

Past Meetings

July 15, 2020 @ 1:30pm via Zoom ( Agenda
View by year: 20192020ALL


Stakeholder Catch-up Presentation

Project Goals

A primary strength of the Monterey County RCIS is the significant co-benefits of adaptation work that will be provided, including to public health and safety, agricultural lands, natural ecosystems, air quality, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  The Monterey County RCIS will accomplish the following specific objectives:

  • Identify locations for habitat and agricultural mitigation for transportation projects, to create more meaningful land preservation and improve the resource agency approval process;
  • Identify adaptation strategies to remedy identified climate related vulnerabilities;
  • Advance the planning of specific climate adaptation projects;
  • Provide benefits to disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.


The completed Monterey County RCIS will provide the following:

  1. Inventory available data sources for species and habitat, and describe the existing wildlife connectivity;
  2. Develop a climate change vulnerability assessment of species and habitat to climate change related stressors and pressures;
  3. Develop conservation strategies to improve resiliency from the identified stressors, including identifying the benefits to transportation infrastructure;
  4. Identify mitigation needs of regional transportation improvements; and
  5. Prepare for implementation by identifying areas for compensatory mitigation, and incorporate the results of the study into the designs of transportation projects to improve climate resiliency

Funding Source

Fiscal Year 2018/19 Caltrans Adaptation Planning Grant $375,810
Measure X $91,160
Total $466,970
Michael Zeller is the project manager for the Monterey County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy.  If you have questions, he can be reached at (831) 775-4416, or via email at: