(January 26, 2017)
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.
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 jobs.
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.
The Restoration Authority Board will make funding decisions at public meetings based on its enabling legislation and the requirements of Measure AA. The Board may fund projects to protect and restore San Francisco Bay for future generations by (1) improving water quality by reducing pollution and trash and engaging in restoration activities; (2) restoring, monitoring and maintaining habitat for fish, birds and wildlife; (3) using natural habitats to protect communities from floods; and (4) increasing shoreline access and encouraging public participation in protecting the Bay's health.
Priority will be given to projects that:
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.
The Authority plans to release the first request for proposals in mid-2017 and make the first round of grants in early 2018.
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.
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:
Provisions ensure that projects are funded in each of the San Francisco Bay Area's nine counties. Revenue will be allocated 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 county. The minimum percentages that will be allocated to each of the four Bay Area regions are listed below:
For details, please see the potential project list and map.
The Restoration Authority will request updates to the potential project list and map in early 2017 before the first request for proposals is released in mid-2017. The first round of funds is expected to be awarded in early 2018. The timeline for the first Request for Proposals, granting of Measure AA funds, and other financial and administrative capacities, can be found on the Restoration Authority's website at: www.sfbayrestore.org.
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.
For questions related to the levy of the tax, please visit myparceltax.com/SFBay or call (888) 508-8157.