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Regional Conservation Investment Strategy

The Monterey County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) assesses the vulnerability of species and habitat to climate change related stressors (drought, wildfire, and landslides, etc.); develops conservation strategies to improve resiliency from the identified stressors; and defines 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.

Download the Fact Sheet

Final Report 

Monterey County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy - Final

Web Portal

The Monterey County RCIS web portal is an interactive tool to find conservation information from the Monterey Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS), and can be found at:

July 15, 2020 Public Meeting

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 accomplishes 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 provides 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: