Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird announced that applications are currently being accepted for the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP) 2011/12 grant cycle. The program offers grants to local, state and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects to mitigate environmental impacts caused by new or modified state transportation facilities. Grants generally will be limited to $350,000 per project. The EEMP guidelines, application and more information about evaluation criteria and requirements can be found here. Applications for the 2011/12 grant cycle must be received by the Natural Resources Agency no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.

Grants are given in four categories:

• Highway Landscape and Urban Forestry -- Projects designed to offset vehicular emissions of carbon dioxide through the planting of trees and other suitable plants.

• Resource Lands -- Projects for the acquisition, restoration, or enhancement of watersheds, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forests, or other significant natural areas within or near the right of way for transportation improvements.

 • Roadside Recreation -- Projects for the acquisition and/or development of roadside recreational opportunities.

 • NEW! Mitigation Projects Beyond the Scope of the Lead Agency – Projects responsible for assessing the environmental impact of the proposed transportation improvement.

The Natural Resources Agency will submit recommended projects to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for funding consideration in early 2012. It is anticipated that the CTC will give preliminary approval to projects to be funded in spring 2012.

Two technical assistance workshops will be held to help applicants in preparing grant applications. Please RSVP to eemcoordinator@resources.ca.gov to reserve your space.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011

city of Los Angeles

1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

California Department of Transportation

Caltrans District 07 Offices,

100 South Main Street, 1st Floor, Room 01.040B

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011

city of Sacramento

1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Sacramento Area Council of Governments

(SACOG) 3rd Floor Board Room

1415 L Street, Suite 300

Sacramento, Calif., 95814

For more information about EEMP project administration and projects funded in prior cycles click here.

Hardcopies of the application are also available from the Natural Resources Agency, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311, Sacramento, Calif., 95814, or by contacting the EEMP Coordinator at (916) 653-2812 or at eemcoordinator@resources.ca.gov