San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to Recommend $67.5 Million in Measure AA Funding for 5 Projects
SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the staff of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (the Authority) announced that it will recommend allocating $67.5 million Measure AA funding to five projects to improve the health and ecological functions of the Bay. Two of the projects were awarded funding at today’s Governing Board meeting; the remaining three will be presented for funding later in 2019.
The projects in this year’s funding round include an $8 million wetland restoration project in Contra Costa County, $1 million for the restoration of a parcel of scarce San Francisco waterfront park land, and a $57 million five-year commitment, of which $11 million will be funded this year, for the design and construction of a 4-mile ecotone levee in the South Bay as the first phase of restoring 2,900 acres of managed open water ponds to tidal marsh.
“Habitat protection, flood protection and shoreline public access are all tangible dividends of Measure AA investments, “said Dave Pine, Chair of the Authority Governing Board and a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “The five projects proposed for Measure AA funding in this grant round advance the goal of restoring the Bay for the benefit of both people and wildlife.”
Measure AA, the Clean and Healthy Bay Parcel Tax of 2016, was the first nine-county funding measure in the Bay Area and is generating $25 million per year for Bay restoration through a $12 annual parcel tax for the next 18 years. The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority is a regional agency responsible for distributing that funding to projects that restore, enhance and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat in San Francisco Bay.
“After only two years of funding, we’re making substantial progress against the objectives that were set during the 2016 campaign for Measure AA.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Director of the Authority, “By the end of this year we anticipate funding 20% of the levee construction objective, 20% of the wetland restoration goal, 13% of the Bay Trail objective and exceeding the goal of 15 new public access facilities. With this round’s large allocation to the South San Francisco Shoreline Project, we have also fully met Measure AA’s regional funding requirement for the South Bay region.”
There were 15 grant applications received in response to the 2018 Request for Proposals, requesting over $83 million in total. Restoration Authority staff will recommend funding the following:
- $968,916 to Marin Audubon Society to prepare technical studies, refine designs, and conduct environmental review and public outreach for restoration and sea level rise adaptation actions at Tiscornia Marsh.
- $7,929,855 to Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District for the Restoration of Lower Walnut Creek, creating and enhancing a 328-acre mosaic of tidal marsh and channels, adjacent terrestrial lowlands, and uplands to support a diversity of plant communities and wildlife species.
- $450,000 to East Bay Regional Park District for to plan and permit the Coyote Hills Restoration and Public Access Project, which will restore rare high value habitat along the Bay margin and provide public access on 306 acres of park land in Fremont.
- $1,100,000 to for the Port of San Francisco Heron’s Head Park Shoreline Resilience Project, which will restore the subtidal, tidal and upland habitat of this park with living shoreline elements and native plants designed to adapt to sea level rise.
- $57,026,673 over a five-year period to the Santa Clara Valley Water District for design and implementation of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project to provide flood protection, restore 2,900 acres of former salt evaporation ponds, and enhance public access in the Alviso area of South San Francisco Bay. $11 million of the full award will be allocated in this first year.
The Governing Board of the Authority considered and approved funding for the Tiscornia Marsh Restoration Project and South Bay Shoreline Project at today’s meeting, as well as a $600,000 augmentation to last year’s grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.
“This second year of grants will inject much-needed funding into some of the Bay’s most critical restoration projects.” Schuchat continued, “We have recommended funding for the full spectrum of project work from planning and design to landscape-scale, multi-year implementation. Each of these projects will directly benefit their local ecosystems and enhance the overall health and accessibility of the of the Bay, which is exactly what voters supported in 2016.”
“As we promised Bay Area voters, Measure AA funds are accelerating wetland restoration the Bay’s wildlife needs,” said David Lewis, Executive Director of Save The Bay. “But the Restoration Authority needs more state and federal funds to meet the demand and stay ahead of rising sea levels – it received $60 million more in project requests than it could fund this year. Studies show we need to restore more of the shoreline sooner to meet the climate crisis head-on.”
Notes to Editors:
In 2016, the Yes on Measure AA Campaign identified six Strategic Outcomes to be realized over the 20-year life of the Measure, if passed:
- Restore 15,000 acres of wetlands and tidal marsh that function as natural filters at the mouths of creeks and along the shoreline and provide nature-based flood risk management for homes, businesses and critical infrastructure in at least 15 cities along the San Francisco Bay Shoreline.
- Maintain and enhance over 1,500 acres of managed ponds, seasonal wetlands and sandy beach habitat in the South Bay and San Pablo Bay.
- Restore 150 acres of eelgrass habitat and 500 acres of oyster habitat, focused on sites recommended in the San Francisco Bay Subtidal Goals Report.
- Construct 20 miles of levees that will facilitate wetlands restoration projects. The combination of levees and wetlands will provide for flood protection to existing shoreline communities.
- Construct 25 miles of the Bay Trail network associated with restoration projects, prioritizing connectivity and completion of gaps.
- Construct at least 15 trails, staging areas or public access facilities that connect restoration projects to nearby shoreline communities and neighborhoods.
The full list of project proposals received in this round can be found here: http://sfbayrestore.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/2019-06-07-gb-item_09_att1_round_2_grant_recommendations_table.pdf