In 1998, the East Bay Regional Park District (District) developed the Resource Enhancement Program (REP). These are projects which protect, restore or mitigate for plant and animal habitats that have been impacted due to human and natural causes. Through REP partnerships, the District has been able to expand the scope of single-purpose projects to meet a larger number of objectives, such as developing public access, preserving open space, creating landscape linkages between protected areas, and assuring that development projects fully mitigate impacts to natural resources.
Prior to this program, many projects failed to fully mitigate project impacts. Sometimes small restorations were performed in developed areas which had little value for target species or credits were purchased at mitigation banks which were far from the impact area. REP partnerships allow mitigation projects to be coordinated with regional goals and plans to achieve maximum benefits to impacted natural communities and to residents who live and recreate in the area.
REP projects have protected or restored tidal marsh, riparian wetlands, fresh water marsh, ponds, grassland, scrub, chaparral and oak woodlands. Several special-status species have also benefited, including Delta smelt, western burrowing owl, California clapper rail, salt marsh harvest mouse, San Joaquin kit fox, red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, Alameda whipsnake, Diablo sunflower, and Alameda manzanita. Thirty projects have been approved since program inception. More than 2,200 acres of public open space and wildlife habitat have been protected or restored.