Our Bay’s future will be on Bay Area ballots

An unprecedented coalition supports a 9-county ballot measure that could restore SF Bay and protect shoreline communities.

Leading business and environmental organizations join elected officials from across the Bay Area in supporting campaign to fund better water quality, expanded wildlife habitat, shoreline recreation opportunities and improved flood protection.

PRESS RELEASE

OAKLAND—Today the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SFBRA) voted to place the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention, and Habitat Restoration Program, known as the “Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure,” on the June 2016 ballot in all nine Bay Area counties. The measure would raise $500 million over 20 years to fund critical Bay restoration and flood protection projects.

Funding generated by the measure would support wetlands restoration projects to reduce pollution of Bay waters, expand wildlife habitat, expand trails and recreational opportunities along the Bay shoreline, and protect shoreline communities from flooding.

“The San Francisco Bay is our region’s defining feature, and this measure is an historic opportunity to leave the Bay better off for our children and grandchildren,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council. “By acting now to restore our wetlands, we can improve the bay ecosystem for fish and wildlife, while protecting huge portions of the bay shoreline from storm surges and rising seas.”

A December 2015 poll conducted by EMC Research for the SFBRA shows overwhelming public support for the measure, with 70% of likely June 2016 voters surveyed willing to support this modest, $12 parcel tax when provided with basic information about its benefits.

The measure is supported by a broad coalition of environmental and business groups, including Save the Bay, Audubon California, the Bay Area Council, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. More than 11,000 Bay Area residents have signed online petitions in support of the measure.

Along with more than 30 other elected leaders who have already endorsed the measure, the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose have all pledged their support. (Full list of endorsers attached.)

  • “It may bear our City’s name, but the San Francisco Bay is the shared treasure of all 7 million Bay Area residents. This measure is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the entire Bay Area to come together to support something that will touch each of our lives—a cleaner, healthier and safer San Francisco Bay.”
    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
  • “The Bay supports and sustains our local economy by creating and preserving hundreds of thousands of jobs in shipping, tourism, fishing, recreation, and education. A healthy Bay is essential to our quality of life.”
    Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • “The Bay is the lifeblood of our region. Wetlands on its shorelines are critical for climate resilience in the decades ahead, and our future vitality as a region requires robust investment in their restoration.”
    San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

Tidal marsh restoration funded by the measure would improve water quality and control pollution by reducing the trash and other toxins that flow into the Bay and ocean. It would increase natural habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife, including Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab, porpoises, sea lions, and shorebirds.

“San Francisco Bay is one of the most important places for birds in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the anchors of a migratory superhighway that we call the Pacific Flyway,” said Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California. “Restored wetlands and cleaner water will support the million shorebirds and waterfowl that use the bay, and increased public access to the shoreline will provide recreational and educational opportunities.

Large-scale restoration of San Francisco Bay’s wetlands is essential to protecting shoreline communities from the increasing risk of severe flooding due to extreme weather and rising sea levels attributable to climate change. More than $60 billion in homes, businesses, and crucial infrastructure is at risk, including ports, airports, roads, office buildings, and entire neighborhoods at or below sea level. A March 2015 report commissioned by the Bay Area Council found that an extreme storm event could cost our region $10.4 billion, almost as much as the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

“The Bay Area is already beginning to experience the impacts of climate change, and the best science available shows that flooding due to sea level rise and extreme weather will intensify, putting low-lying communities and billions of dollars of critical infrastructure at risk,” said Mike Mielke, Sr. VP of Environment & Energy for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The best answer is to work with nature to help protect us all from this. Doing nothing is not an option.”

“Scientists agree that the Bay needs 100,000 acres of shoreline habitat for the health of fish, birds, wildlife, and people,” said David Lewis, Executive Director of Save The Bay. “Today, 31,000 acres of publicly-owned baylands await restoration, but require funding. Today, with the Restoration Authority’s vote, the public will finally have an opportunity to act.”

In addition to directly generating $500 million for the Bay, funds raised by this measure could leverage additional state and federal funds, potentially tripling the available pool of funds for Bay restoration, public access, and keeping communities safe from flooding.

Passage of the measure will require approval by 2/3 of the total voters casting ballots cumulatively across all nine Bay Area counties in the June 2016 election.

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Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure

Public Endorsements (as of Jan. 13, 2016)

U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02)

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)

Former U.S. Rep. George Miller

Mayors

Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose

Mayor Edwin Lee, City of San Francisco

Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland

Mayor Pat Showalter, City of Mountain View

State Legislature

Sen. Mike McGuire (SD 02)

Sen. Steve Glazer (SD 07)

Sen. Loni Hancock (SD 09)

Sen. Bob Wieckowski (SD 10)

Sen. Mark Leno (SD 11)

Sen. Jerry Hill (SD 13)

Sen. Jim Beall (SD 15)

Assemblymember Bill Dodd (AD 4)

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (AD 15)

Assemblymember David Chiu (AD 17)

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (AD 18)

Assemblymember Philip Ting (AD 19)

Assemblymember Bill Quirk (AD 20)

Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (AD 22)

Assemblymember Mark Stone (AD 29)

Bay Area County Supervisors

Alameda Co. Supervisor Wilma Chan (District 3)

Contra Costa Co. Supervisor John Gioia (District 1)

Marin Co. Supervisor Katie Rice (District 2)

Marin Co. Supervisor Kathrin Sears (District 3)

Napa Co. Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht (District 1)

Napa Co. Supervisor Keith Caldwell (District 5)

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar (District 1)

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin (District 3)

San Francisco Supervisor London Breed (District 5)

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6)

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (District 8)

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos (District 9)

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos (District 11)

San Mateo Co. Supervisor Dave Pine (District 1)

Santa Clara Co. Supervisor Ken Yeager (District 4)

Santa Clara Co. Supervisor Joseph Simitian (District 5)

Solano Co. Supervisor Erin Hannigan (District 1)

Business Groups

Bay Area Council

Bay Planning Coalition

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Environmental Organizations

Audubon California

Ducks Unlimited

Friends of the San Leandro Creek

Greenbelt Alliance

Regional Parks Association

San Francisco Bay Joint Venture

Santa Clara Co. League of Conservation Voters

Save The Bay

Sonoma Land Trust

Trust for Public Land

Political Party Organizations

Santa Clara Co. Democratic Party

Sonoma Co. Democratic Party

Local Elected Officials and Community Leaders

Andy Ball, Suffolk Construction*

Rod Diridon, Sr., Former Santa Clara Co. Supervisor

Ted Lempert, Children Now*

Lenny Mendonca, Director Emeritus McKinsey and Co.*

John Sutter, East Bay Regional Park District Board Member