$67.5 Million Recommended for Funding by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority

By on June 13, 2019
Federal Funding for California Drought

Of the 15 grant applications received by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SFBRA) for the 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP), staff members of the SFBRA are recommending allocating $67.5 million in Measure AA funding for five projects working to improve the health and ecological functions of the San Francisco Bay. The total requested amount by the 15 RFP applications totaled $83 million. Of the five applications currently recommended for funding two of the projects were awarded funding at a recent SFBRA Governing Board meeting while the remaining three will be presented for funding later in 2019.

In 2016, proponents of the Yes on Measure AA Campaign identified six Strategic Outcomes to be realized over the 20-year life of the Measure, if it were to be passed. When Bay Area voters in nine counties approved the measure it became the first such assessment in the Bay Area and is now generating $25 million per year for Bay Area restoration through a $12 annual parcel tax over the next 18 years. The SFBRA is now the regional agency responsible for distributing that funding to projects that restore, enhance and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat in San Francisco Bay.

“Habitat protection, flood protection and shoreline public access are all tangible dividends of Measure AA investments, “said Dave Pine, chair of the SFBRA 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.”

Specifically, the SFBRA staff has recommended the following for allocations in 2019:

  • $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 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. Of the full award $11 million will be allocated in this first year.

Of the five projects above the funding for the Tiscornia Marsh Restoration Project and South Bay Shoreline Project area the two approved at the SFBRA’s most recent board meeting. Additionally, the board approved a $600,000 augmentation to last year’s grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.

“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 with the SFBRA. “By the end of this year we anticipate funding 20 percent of the levee construction objective, 20 percent of the wetland restoration goal, 13percent 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.”

“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.”