What is the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority?
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority is a regional agency with a Governing Board made up of local elected officials. Its purpose is to raise and allocate local resources for the restoration, enhancement, protection, and enjoyment of wetlands and wildlife habitat in San Francisco Bay and along its shoreline, and associated flood management and public access infrastructure.
The Restoration Authority was created by the California Legislature in 2008 to find solutions to the need for new, local funding, due to reduced funding from other sources.
Its enabling legislation gives the Restoration Authority the unique capacity to raise funds from local sources throughout the Bay Area and the oversight capacity to ensure transparency and prevent waste. Its purpose is restoration, not regulation. The Restoration Authority does not duplicate the missions of other public agencies and private organizations working on Bay restoration; it is designed to deliver essential local funding to restoration projects developed by others.
Why is it important to protect and restore San Francisco Bay?
San Francisco Bay is one of our nation's greatest natural treasures and the defining feature of where we call home.
Restoring San Francisco Bay is not just essential from an environmental or quality of life perspective. It is equally important to provide communities with coastal flood protection, expand bicycle and walking trails on public land, and to continue to strengthen our local economy with new ajobs.
What is Measure AA?
Measure AA, or the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure, was a revenue generating measure placed on the June 2016 ballots of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area by the Restoration Authority. The measure proposed a 20-year, $12 parcel tax to raise approximately $25 million annually, or $500 million over twenty years, to fund restoration projects in the Bay. It passed with 70% approval across the region and went into effect in 2017.
Which types of projects are being be funded?
The Restoration Authority Board makes funding decisions at public meetings based on its enabling legislation and the requirements of Measure AA. The Board may fund projects to protect, restore and enhance the San Francisco Bay, including:
habitat restoration projects;
flood protection projects that are part of a habitat restoration project; and
- shoreline access and recreational amenity projects that are part of a habitat restoration project.
Priority is given to projects that:
- Have the greatest positive impact on the Bay as a whole, in terms of clean water, wildlife habitat and beneficial use to Bay Area residents.
- Have the greatest long-term impact on the Bay, to benefit future generations.
- Provide for geographic distribution across the region and ensure that there are projects funded in each of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area over the life of Measure AA.
- Increase impact value by leveraging state and federal resources and public/private partnerships.
- Benefit economically disadvantaged communities.
- Benefit the region's economy, including local workforce development, employment opportunities for Bay Area residents, and nature-based flood protection for critical infrastructure and existing shoreline communities.
- Work with local organizations and businesses to engage youth and young adults and assist them in gaining skills related to natural resource protection.
- Incorporate monitoring, maintenance and stewardship to develop the most efficient and effective strategies for restoration and achievement of intended benefits.
- Meet the selection criteria of the Coastal Conservancy's San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program and are consistent with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission's coastal management program and with the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture's implementation strategy.
Additional information on funding decisions, including project eligibility, eligible grantees, and the process for the review and approval of grants, can be found in the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority's Grant Program Guidelines.
How do I get in touch with the Restoration Authority?
Questions about grant applications and funding should go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about the BRRIT should go to BRITT@sfbayrestore.org.
Questions about projects, programs and other Authority concerns should go to: email@example.com or (510) 286-7193.
How will these local funds be raised?
The Restoration Authority has the power to propose a measure to generate revenue, and the nine Bay Area counties must then place the measure on the ballot. After the Authority voted to place Measure AA, the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure, on the June 7th, 2016, ballot, residents of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area voted with a 70% majority to pass it. This measure is a $12 parcel tax, which will raise approximately $25 million annually, or $500 million over twenty years, to fund shoreline projects that will protect and restore the Bay.
Are there any exemptions from the Measure AA parcel tax, and how do I get more information on how the tax will be levied?
For questions related to the levy of the tax, please visit myparceltax.com/SFBay or call (888) 508-8157.
When are grants being made?
The Authority has been holding annual grant rounds. Typically, the RFP is released in late summer/early fall, with a deadline in December. Grants are awarded in late spring or summer of the following year.
Who will oversee the work of the Restoration Authority?
Measure AA requires the Restoration Authority to publish annual financial statements and commission independent annual audits, by preparing annual written reports showing the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of any projects or programs, and through an Independent Citizens Oversight Committee made up of Bay Area residents that will annually publish a review the Authority's audits and expenditure and financial reports. In addition, an Advisory Committee will provide advice to the Authority on all aspects of its activities to ensure maximum benefit, value, and transparency.
Additional information on the membership and responsibilities of the Advisory Committee and the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee can be found in the procedural documents for each of the respective committees that were adopted by the Restoration Authority Governing Board.
How are Governing Board members appointed?
Governing Board appointments are made by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). ABAG's procedure for appointments to outside entities in general, and for the Restoration Authority's Governing Board in particular, are as follows:
- Announcement of vacancy sent to eligible individuals and entities, requesting statements of interest. For the Restoration Authority specifically, recipients of the announcement have included clerks of city councils and county boards of bayside cities and counties, and/or eligible park and open space districts.
- Statements of interest are submitted to ABAG.
- ABAG's president selects a candidate from the submitted statements of interest based on Governing Board membership criteria as outlined in the Restoration Authority's enabling legislation.
- ABAG's president requests ABAG's Executive Board's consent to the appointment.
Do Bay restoration projects create jobs?
Restoration projects that have been completed around the Bay have already created hundreds of full and part time jobs. Restoration of former salt ponds at the Green Island Unit in southern Napa created over 50 full- and part-time positions between 2007 and 2008. Wetland restoration projects create jobs from project planning through implementation: building flood levees, transporting sediment, growing and planting native plants, constructing new bicycle and walking paths, as well as designing projects before they are built, and maintaining and monitoring sites into the future.
Will there be projects near where I live?
Measure AA requires that grant funds be distributed to projects throughout the region, with 50% of funds allocated to the four Bay Area regions in proportion to each region's share of the Bay Area's population, as determined in the 2010 census, and 50% allocated without regard to location. The minimum percentages that will be allocated to each of the four Bay Area regions are listed below:
- North Bay (Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano Counties) = 9% minimum allocation;
- East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) = 18% minimum allocation;
- West Bay (City and County of San Francisco and San Mateo County) = 11% minimum allocation; and
- South Bay (Santa Clara County) = 12% minimum allocation.
Twenty-year targets for minimum allocations were calculated assuming that Measure AA generates roughly $500 million over 20 years. The Authority’s EcoAtlas dashboard shows progress toward these targets.
What is an eligible project location?
- To be eligible, projects must be located within the nine Bay Area counties along the shorelines of San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, Suisun Bay, and most of the Northern Contra Costa County Shoreline to the edge of, but not including, the Delta Primary Zone, that are in areas consistent with guidance provided in the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Science Update (2015) and Subtidal Habitat Goals Report (2010), including:
- In subtidal areas (lying below mean low tide), within a reasonable distance of the shoreline; or
- In baylands, i.e., areas that lie between the maximum and minimum elevations of the tides over multiyear cycles, including those areas that would be covered by the tides in the absence of levees or other unnatural structures, including the portion of creeks or rivers located below the head of tide; or
- On uplands adjacent to potential or other unnatural structures, including the portion of creeks or rivers located below the head of tide; or
- On uplands adjacent to potential or actual tidal wetlands that can provide transitional habitat and/or marsh migration space, as well as areas that are needed to enhance the project’s resilience to projected sea level rise.
- For more information, and the definition of “Along the Bay Shorelines” and “Creek Outlets,” please see Appendix B of the Restoration Authority’s Grant Program Guidelines.
- Reference Appendix B of Grant Guidelines