What is the Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP) and how does it benefit the SR 76 corridor?
When voters approved the TransNet Extension Ordinance in November 2004, they also approved the innovative EMP which is providing $850 million to protect, preserve, and restore habitats near the region’s most significant transportation infrastructure, such as SR 76. In total, over $80 million in EMP funds have been invested along the SR 76 corridor to purchase 1,600 acres of property. This property supports habitat conservation and the San Luis Rey River Park Master Plan in this corridor. View the SR 76 EMP fact sheet.

What does it mean to restore EMP properties?
Restoration efforts include preserving land as natural habitat, protecting endangered wildlife or native plant species (such as the Least Bell’s Vireo or coastal sage scrub), recontouring the river to improve water flow, and replanting native plants.

Is Caltrans preserving the rural character of the community?
Yes, because SR 76 runs through a rural community, design elements are being employed to preserve the rural character of the area. These design elements include: revegetating areas with native species, employing less formal planting arrangements, and contour grading to achieve natural-appearing slopes.

Why are there little red flags all over the properties next to the highway? 
As part of the environmental restoration and mitigation efforts, red flags are placed by the project team to identify locations for new plantings.

What type of landscaping is being planted along the highway?
A variety of trees, shrubs and groundcovers that are native to the area will be planted along the highway. Not only will these native plants complement the surrounding natural habitat, they also will require minimal maintenance once the project is completed.

How will wildlife be protected?
Permanent animal crossings underneath the highway are being constructed to facilitate safe wildlife movement through the river corridor. Directional fencing will be installed to direct wildlife to these animal crossings.

How will run-off from SR 76 affect the San Luis Rey River?
To mitigate erosion and storm water pollution, bioswales, which are landscape elements located along the roadway, will filter out silt and pollution and remove it from surface runoff. They will be utilized to the maximum extent possible. Existing off-site drainage systems will be upgraded, cleaned or replaced as needed.