The 33 projects that received funding range from installing systems that help prevent runoff from reaching the ocean, to replacing irrigation systems with those that use less water. Two percent of annual Measure M2 revenues are used to fund this program and improve the overall water quality from transportation-generated pollution, according to OCTA.
“OCTA is proud to fund improvement projects that are helping to restore the environment and make Orange County a more sustainable place to live,” said OCTA Chairman Paul Glaab, also the mayor of Laguna Niguel. “We are working hard to deliver the promises of Measure M and at the same time protect the natural resources that make Orange County special.”
The projects are designed to diminish the more visible forms of pollutants such as litter and debris that collect on roadways and deposit into the ocean. A call for projects was issued in February and OCTA received 50 proposals from 26 cities and the county.
The M2 Environmental Cleanup Program is a comprehensive plan that will help preserve and restore water quality throughout the county. Over the next 30 years, approximately $300 million will be provided to improve water quality and reduce pollutants that lead to waterways.
Every day, more than 70 million gallons of oily pollution, litter and contamination washes off streets, roads and freeways and pours onto Orange County waterways and beaches. When it rains, the transportation-generated pollution increases tenfold, contributing to the increasing number of beach closures and environmental hazards along the Orange County coast.
Prior to allocating funds for freeway, street and transit projects, 2 percent of gross revenues from Measure M2 are set aside to protect Orange County beaches from urban runoff and improve ocean water quality.