Feinstein, Boxer float bill to fund restoration of San Francisco Bay
By Debra Kahn, E&E reporter
Published: Friday, February 27, 2015
California’s senators yesterday introduced a bill to fund restoration of San Francisco Bay activities.
The “San Francisco Bay Restoration Act” would amend the Clean Water Act to require an annual list of restoration priorities for the West Coast’s largest estuary. Ninety percent of the bay’s wetlands have been filled in since the Gold Rush.
The bill by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) authorizes $5 million per year through 2019 for restoration projects and studies. U.S. EPA would work with state and local governments to determine recipients, which would be expected to contribute at least a quarter of the projects’ cost.
“By authorizing the necessary resources, this bill will help restore tidal wetlands and improve the quality of the Bay Area’s water,” Feinstein said. “The San Francisco Bay is so important to our state’s economy and ecology that restoration deserves renewed attention.”
Much of the southern portion of the bay is currently undergoing restoration as part of a 15,000-acre addition to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which Feinstein helped acquire in 2003. There are several thousand acres of additional lands that had originally been considered for preservation, as well.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) announced she would carry the companion bill, which has the endorsement of the entire Bay Area delegation — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Mark DeSaulnier, Anna Eshoo, John Garamendi, Mike Honda, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Jerry McNerney, Eric Swalwell and Mike Thompson, all Democrats.Tags: Bay Area, bills, environment, legislation, policy, restoration