Bay Restoration Funding to Start Flowing in 2017
Fresh from the historic passage of Measure AA by voters this June, the San Francisco Baylands Steering Committee convened at the Bay Area Council on Tuesday (Aug. 2) to discuss next steps to improve the health and safety of the bay. Measure AA will raise $500 million over the next 20 years for wetland restoration, flood protection, pollution prevention, and public access projects along the bay shoreline. The Council, with the support of member companies like PG&E, was a lead group in passing the measure. The steering committee estimates grant funding for projects will be available in late 2017, and discussed strategies for obtaining state and federal matching dollars to make Measure AA funds go even further.
In the near-term, the committee is focused on encouraging Congress to pass the Water Resources and Development Act of 2016, and streamlining regulations to expedite wetland restoration. The Baylands Steering Committee was formed at the urging of Senator Dianne Feinstein to help identify and create a regional funding mechanism to restore bay wetlands and improve regional flood protection, and is comprised of leaders from the Bay Area Council, Resources Legacy Fund, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Save the Bay, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.