Restoration Funding Hero

Restoration Funding

Through ballot measures and legislation, Save The Bay has led the way in the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding to protect the San Francisco Bay for people and wildlife.

Restoration Funding Hero

Restoration Funding

Through ballot measures and legislation, Save The Bay has led the way in the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding to protect the San Francisco Bay for people and wildlife.

Measure AA: A Region-Wide Vote For The Bay

Measure AA Image

Thanks to a broad coalition led for a decade by Save The Bay, Bay Area voters overwhelmingly passed Measure AA in June 2016, making a $500 million regional investment over 20 years to protect and restore San Francisco Bay. More than 2,000 individuals and organizations endorsed Measure AA, with support from Vallejo to Gilroy, and Livermore to San Mateo. When all the votes were counted, more than 70 percent of Bay Area voters had declared their support for this first-of-its kind regional ballot initiative. This funding will help restore wetlands on roughly 36,000 acres currently held in public trust, providing critical wildlife habitat, improving water quality, protecting shoreline communities against flooding, and ensuring Bay access for all residents.

In April 2018, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority awarded the first round of grants to nine restoration projects around the region. Totalling almost $24 million, the awarded grants range from $7.4 million for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project to $150,000 for creating a restoration strategy for Lower Sonoma Creek. The diversity in size, scope, and location of these projects indicates the multitude of benefits that Measure AA funds will provide.   


Creating A New Regional Entity To Restore The Bay

In 1999, over 100 scientists from around the region declared in the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals that the Bay needs 100,000 acres of healthy wetlands for the ecosystem to thrive. The report set the first-ever comprehensive restoration goals for the entire San Francisco Bay estuary. The challenge, however, was finding the funding to do the work. There was no dedicated funding source for Bay restoration, and funds that did exist for related work were insufficient. Read the 2016 Science Update of the report, which focuses on the threat that climate change poses to the Bay. Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Director, Donna Ball, was an author.

To address this funding need, in 2008 Save The Bay worked with the California Legislature and supporters from business, government, and environmental organizations to create the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, a regional body with the power to raise and allocate much needed local resources for the “restoration, enhancement, protection, and enjoyment of wetlands and wildlife habitat in the San Francisco Bay and along its shoreline.”

The Restoration Authority worked for years to develop an appropriate funding mechanism that could raise the necessary funds and still garner enough public support for its passage. In 2016, the Restoration Authority finally placed Measure AA on the ballot in all nine Bay Area counties—the nation’s first-ever regional effort to secure climate adaptation and restoration funding.

“Local funding is crucial to protect the Bay’s natural shorelines, safeguard homes and businesses from flooding, and create thousands of jobs in our communities.”

—Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council


Securing Additional Restoration Funding

Securing Additional Restoration Funding Image

To match the regional investment that Bay Area residents made under Measure AA, Save The Bay pursues state and federal funding to accelerate this important restoration work.

In 2017, Save The Bay was instrumental in including $20 million for Bay restoration in Proposition 68, the statewide parks and water bond that voters passed in June 2018. Save The Bay worked with legislators and advocates to get the funding in Senate Bill 5, the legislation that became Proposition 68. This one-time investment in Bay restoration is an important addition to the funds that Measure AA provides on an annual basis.