The $8.8 billion bond measure before California voters in November provides a huge boost to San Francisco Bay restoration. Read more here. And Proposition 3 funds projects throughout California that provide environmental benefits to people and wildlife, including habitat for endangered fish, safe drinking water for disadvantaged populations, improved resilience against drought, and adaptation to climate change. Beyond San Francisco Bay, Proposition 3:
- benefits rivers, streams and fish, with more than $1 billion to improve urban creeks, create and improve river parkways, restore essential fish habitat, acquire water for salmon and steelhead facing extinction, and provide canoe and kayak access to rivers and streams.
- protects and restores wildlife, with hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire water and improve habitat essential to millions of waterfowl and shorebirds that winter in California, and many other species of wildlife. It also preserves the Habitat Conservation Fund that would otherwise expire in 2020, dedicating it to environmental water purposes.
- protects and restores watersheds, with more than $3 billion to state conservation agencies for watershed acquisition and restoration, through grants to local land and water conservation groups from the Sierras to the coast, and throughout the Central Valley.
- promotes environmental justice, with more than half of its funding reserved or prioritized for disadvantaged communities, including $750 million dollars to build safe drinking water supply and sanitary wastewater disposal systems for public health. Hundreds of thousands of Californians live in disadvantaged communities that don’t have clean drinking water or a sanitary place to dispose of wastewater.
- improves safe, sustainable water supplies, funding productive water technologies that improve supplies for people and wildlife instead of building new dams that cause environmental harm. The bond includes money for wastewater recycling, groundwater recharge, water conservation, groundwater pollution reductions, removal of water-intensive invasive plants, and repairs of existing dams and canals.
- helps working families throughout California, boosting sustainable water use for cities and farms. Funds to repair existing water delivery facilities and conserve water in agricultural areas help working families who depend on these water supplies for jobs and food, without taking more water from rivers essential for fish and wildlife.
Just as important, Proposition 3 does not fund any new dams or canals that would take more water away from fresh water flows in rivers or further degrade the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Proposition 3 does not fund proposed Delta tunnels. Bond funds would be available for crucial repair and safety of existing facilities, including Oroville Dam and the badly subsided Friant-Kern Canal, on which many people depend for reliable delivery of water, productive agriculture, and recharge of groundwater reserves during wet years. Proposition 3 is endorsed by conservation leaders statewide (full list at www.waterbond.org). In addition to Save The Bay, National Wildlife Federation, California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited, American River Conservancy and more have already endorsed. You can read the full text of Proposition 3 at www.waterbond.org . And stay tuned for updates about Proposition 3 and other opportunities to Vote for the Bay at www.SFBayActionFund.org.