Fort Ord Regional Trail and Greenway (FORTAG)

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An environmental summary created by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

The proposed Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway (FORTAG)[1]


The Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway (FORTAG) is a proposed 30-mile network of paved trails and greenways aimed to connect communities to open space[2]. The proposed route connects the existing Coastal Rec Trail to the communities of Marina, Seaside and Monterey, creating a streamlined, accessible trail network connecting existing public lands and parks, residential communities, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Fort Ord National Monument and existing transportation corridors. FORTAG was a grassroots, community conception spearheaded by CSUMB faculty Scott Waltz and Fred Watson. The total cost of the project is estimated at $40 million. In November 2016, Monterey County voters approved $20 million in funding for FORTAG as part of the transportation bill Measure X.

FORTAG is part of the Recreational Planning Initiatives in the California Central Coast. Additonally, FORTAG is consistent with existing Environmental Planning Initiatives in the area, including the Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan and Fort Ord Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

Route and details

FORTAG is composed of two main loops:

  • Northern loop: The northern loop of FORTAG follows a 13-mile route around the City of Marina and includes three miles of the existing Coastal Rec Trail.
  • Southern loop: The southern loop of FORTAG following a 15-mile route around Seaside and through Del Ray Oaks, and includes four miles of the existing trail system[2]

FORTAG NLoop Simple 161212 450dpi.png
FORTAG SLoop Simple 161001 450dpi.png
Northern loop Southern loop

As proposed, FORTAG will be a continuous 12-ft wide paved trail with an open space buffer on both sides extending to 150-ft on each side of the trail for most of its length. Habitat, parks, playing fields, developed outdoor recreation sites, associated amenities, unpaved trails, and agriculture will be incorporated into the buffer regions. The trail will connect with existing bike/pedestrian infrastructure and plans. Several sections of the paved trail will loosely parallel to existing unpaved trails. In its current proposed form, FORTAG involves about three road underpasses and one overpass.


The proposed FORTAG route incorporates segments of the existing Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Photo courtesy Fred Watson[3].

FORTAG proponents primarily see the trail network as a facilitator of active transportation that expands opportunities for utilizing biking, walking, running or wheelchairs to commute among home, work, public lands and commercial areas. Unpaved portions of the trail may be suitable for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian travel.

The trail is intended to be "a pleasant and visually obvious route that invites safe use by families with young children on bikes, and that can be jointly used by walkers, joggers, children in strollers, wheelchairs (in key segments), commuter cyclists, and recreational cyclists (including those with narrow tires)[2].""

FORTAG's website lists the following values:

  • Connect people to open space
  • Be a pleasant experience
  • Be useable by anyone
  • Have room for everyone
  • Be complementary to the built environment
  • Have loops, of different sizes
  • Be 100% connected all the way around each loop
  • Have no 'red flags' from land owners and/or jurisdictions
  • Function as a habitat corridor for dispersal of native plants and movement of wildlife (with the exception of certain constrained segments where this is impractical)


According to Scott Waltz, one of the project's founding volunteers, the concept for the project came from the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA)'s call for access to public trails and wildlife corridors as a part of the area's new uses. Along with trail access advocates Fred Watson, Marina City Councilwoman Gail Morton and Marina Planning Commissioner Margaret Davis, FORTAG was conceived of in 2013[4].


The events leading up to FORTAG began in 1994 and, as of 2017, are still underway[5].

  • 1994 Fort Ord military base closure
  • 1997 Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan adopted
  • April 20, 2012 Fort Ord National Monument designated under the Antiquities Act.
  • Early 2013 Davis, Morton, Watson and Waltz conceive FORTAG precursor ideas
  • Jan 29, 2014 Marina City Council adopts a motion to examine feasibility of a trails/greenways project from EIghth Street to Inter-Garrison.
  • 2014 Comprehensive mapping of FORTAG trail concepts
  • 2014 Proponents meet and conduct tours with key stakeholders, present FORTAG to community groups including the Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District, FORT Friends, Sierra Club
  • November 20, 2014 Morton and Watson present to Marina City Council and Planning Commission. Council adopts a motion to support the concept of FORTAG.
  • 2015 Continued meetings, tours and presentations to groups including Sustainable Seaside, Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse, and Citizens of Sustainable Marina
  • August 26, 2015 Presentation to Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). TAMC unanimously passes motion to work toward FORTAG.
  • December 17, 2015 FORTAG presented to Seaside City Council
  • Feb. 24. 2016 TAMC Board approves FORTAG to be included included on final list of regional projects to be funded (at $20 million) by TAMC's Transportation Safety and Investment Plan (Measure X), a sales tax to go before voters in November 2016.
  • November 8, 2016 General election in which Measure X passes.
  • November 30, 2016 FORTAG secures its $20 million in funding from the plan passed by Measure X.
  • 2017 FORTAG proponents continue meetings, tours and presentations with stakeholders, as well as working to include FORTAG in relevant general plan updates
  • March 22, 2017 TAMC Board approves conditional use of additional $900k of TAMC funds as match toward an upcoming application for additional funds through the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP)

Measure X funding

On November 8, 2016, voters passed "Measure X: Monterey County Transportation Agency Sales Tax" with 67.7 percent of the vote. This measure enacts an 0.375 percent sales tax increase for 30 years to fund transportation infrastructure projects. The funding is designated for a variety of transportation infrastructure projects that will:

  • Repair potholes and maintain roads
  • Improve safety on local roads, highways, and intersections
  • Reduce traffic and reduce commute times
  • Make walking and biking safer and more accessible
  • Protect and enhance public transportation for youth, seniors, and people with disabilities
  • Support alternatives to driving and protect our environment
  • Improve safety and traffic flow on highways 68, 101, and 1
  • Support safe routes to school and crosswalks[6]

FORTAG will receive an estimated $20 million in funding from Measure X[7].

[[File:Fordord.jpg|right|350px|thumb|FORTAG aims to connect communities to open space including municipal, county, regional and federal public lands. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management[8].

Ballot language

"Shall the Transportation Agency for Monterey County fund a transportation safety and investment plan to: improve safety on local roads and highways; repair potholes; maintain streets and roads; reduce traffic congestion; improve transportation for seniors, young people, and people with disabilities; and make walking and biking safer, by enacting a three-eighths percent sales tax, raising approximately twenty million dollars annually over 30 years, plus state and federal matching funds, with citizen oversight and annual independent audits?"

Measure X received endorsements from three major media outlets in Monterey County: the Monterey Herald[9], the Salinas Californian[10] and the Monterey County Weekly[11].

Key stakeholders

FORTAG proponents include a core team of volunteers:

  • Fred Watson: FORTAG proponent & Associate Professor - CSUMB
  • Scott Waltz:FORTAG proponent & Associate Professor - CSUMB & Sierra Club
  • Margaret Davis:Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse & Marina Planning Commissioner
  • Gail Morton:Marina City Councilor & Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Boardmember

The following organizations are involved in or relevant to FORTAG planning and funding:

Current progress

Since the passage of Measure X, FORTAG construction is pending incorporation of FORTAG into various jurisdictional planning documents, prioritization of Measure X projects and grant funding[9]. Within the next two years, proponents of the FORTAG project aim to:

  • Obtain easements for trail segments as necessary
  • Memoranda of Agreement among agencies in relation to specific FORTAG segments
  • Environmental Impact Report[5]

The project aims for completion within 10 years[5].

Map gallery

Below are additional maps associated with FORTAG. Click on each thumbnail to reveal a larger image. Full resolution images and additional maps are available on the FORTAG website in the maps section.

FORTAG FFO 150130 450dpi.png
FORTAG NLoop 150130.png
FORTAG SLoop 150423 450dpi.png
FORTAG SLoop Vert 161027 450dpi.png
FORTAG map, in detail Northern loop, in detail Southern loop, in detail Seaside vertical layout map

FORTAG CSUMB 160923 450dpi.png
FORTAG FFO Fig3p6-3 150213.png
FORTAG FFO FORP HikerBikerTrails 150420 450dpi.png
FORTAG FFO Fig3p3-1 150213.png
Segments near CSUMB Overlay with FORA Trail/Open Space Link Overlay with FORA Hiker/Biker trails Overlay with FORA Land Use map

FORTAG FFO FORHA 150206 450dpi.png
FORTAG FFO HCP 150213.png
FORTAG FFO NPR 150213.png
FORTAG FFO Lengths 160524 450dpi.png
Comparison to Fort Ord Recreational Habitat Area (FORHA) Trail Master Plan Relationship to Fort Ord habitat and management conservation plans Relationship to native plant reserves Length of FORTAG trail segments

FORTAG FFO Slopes Portrait 160510 450dpi.png
FORTAG FFO Elevs 150328 450dpi.png
FORTAG FFO Simple Population 160513 450dpi.png
FORTAG Hotels 160429 450dpi.png
Trail segments slopes Trail segments elevations Relationship to population density Relationship to select hotel locations


  1. Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway. 2016. Maps. Available from: FORTAG Maps
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway. 2016. Vision. Available from: FORTAG Vision
  3. Johnson J. 2016. Trail to the Future: Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway project aims to connect communities, open space. Available from: Monterey County Herald
  4. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway. 2016. Timeline. Available from: FORTAG Timeline
  5. Ballotpedia. 2016. Transportation Agency for Monterey County, California, Sales Tax, Measure X. Available from: Ballotpedia
  6. Schmalz D. 2016. Measure X paves way for new trail network from Monterey to Marina. Available from: Monterey County Weekly
  7. BLM California. 2012. Tree in Field at Fort Ord. Available from: Flickr
  8. 9.0 9.1 Unknown author. 2016. Editorial, Oct. 25, 2016: Measure X worth supporting. Available from: Monterey County Herald
  9. Eddy M. 2016. Transit measures: No on 53, Yes on X. Available from: The Salinas Californian
  10. The Weekly Editorial Board. 2016. Weekly endorsement: Measure X is a vote for a thriving city.. Available from: The Monterey County Weekly



This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.