With climate change impacts worsening, we need to act now to protect our communities from increasing flooding and sea level rise.
While the state deals with the tragic consequences of wildfires and drought, we need to invest now to prevent catastrophic flooding that threatens people and wildlife, including roads and shoreline infrastructure we all rely on. As the UN’s recent IPCC report makes clear, warming temperatures are driving the loss of sea ice and raising sea levels. The San Francisco Bay Area can protect against this risk by rehabilitating the Bay’s natural shoreline and creating new tidal marshes as buffers that absorb flood waters. But we need state funds now to accelerate that work.
Governor Gavin Newsom
State Legislative Leadership: Phil Ting, Nancy Skinner, Bob Wieckowski, Richard Bloom, Toni Atkins, Anthony Rendon
Subject: Support State Funding for a Resilient San Francisco Bay
Dear Governor Gavin Newsom and Members of the CA State Legislature,
I am writing to express my strong support for the inclusion of robust funding in the state’s $3.7 billion climate resilience package for the protection, restoration and resilience of the state’s most important estuary, San Francisco Bay. California’s historic budget surplus should make significant investments necessary to reduce catastrophic flooding from sea level rise and extreme storms, and advance the state’s 30X30 goal for using nature to combat climate change. We write to urge you to support robust funding for San Francisco Bay this year, including:
$300 Million for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority – By approving Measure AA in 2016 with over a 70% vote, Bay Area residents are already investing in the restoration of our Bay wetlands, natural flood protection and equitable outdoor access for local communities. Additional state funding is urgently needed to accelerate shoreline projects that reduce flood risks and protect wildlife.
$100 Million for the Coastal Conservancy’s San Francisco Bay Program – The Bay Program at the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) will run out of funds by 2022 without additional investments. The SCC is critical to the achievement of Governor Newsom’s 30×30 goal, and is well positioned to advance California’s climate change efforts because they work up and down the state and support multi-benefit projects and programs – sea level rise, wildfire, access to outdoors, working lands, natural infrastructure, and more.
Currently more than 350,000 Bay Area residents live in a 100-year flood plain, and the region is anticipated to experience ⅔ of the state’s economic impacts from sea level rise. These impacts won’t be distributed equitably, with many lower income communities at higher risk. The opportunity to restore San Francisco Bay’s wetland ecosystems to sequester carbon, reduce the economic and human impacts of sea level rise, and protect habitat for endangered species is not only within our capabilities, but a critical priority for the State of California.
In addition to combating the worsening drought and wildfires, we urge you to invest now to prevent flooding and sea level rise impacts that put people and wildlife at risk. The state’s historic budget surplus provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in the Bay program at the Coastal Conservancy, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, and in the protection of San Francisco Bay and the Bay Area’s vibrant economy and communities that ring this remarkable landscape.