In order to assure the biological health and success of lands conserved as open space throughout the region, land management and biological monitoring is required. Managing and monitoring natural habitats and sensitive species reduces the likelihood that the system will degrade and prevents the need for state or federal listing if new species as threatened or endangered.
Over 30 land managers work in the region to promote the regional habitat preserve system, which is being created through implementation of multiple species habitat conservation plans and TransNet Environment Mitigation Program (EMP) land acquisitions. SANDAG assists these efforts through coordination, collaboration, and development of best management practices. In 2008, the SANDAG Board of Directors, set aside $40 million through the TransNet EMP for the regional management and monitoring of natural habitats and sensitive plant and animal species over a ten-year period.
The San Diego Management and Monitoring Program (SDMMP) was established to provide a coordinated, scientific approach to the management and biological monitoring of conserved lands in San Diego County. As of 2022, SANDAG invested more than $46.5 million to manage and monitor the regional habitat preserve system. This is accomplished through a competitive land management grant program, funding of regional biological monitoring efforts, and directly assisting land managers with the necessary tools and resources to aid in their efforts.