February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today introduced the San Francisco Bay Restoration Act to help revive the Bay’s historic wetlands and protect our vibrant coastal community from further erosion.

“We must fight to keep the San Francisco Bay estuary vibrant, healthy, and beautiful,” said Speier. “It is the source of so much happiness and prosperity for all of us. By restoring it, we defend the environment we love, help businesses thrive, and grow more resilient in the face of sea level rise.”

The Bay Area generates more than $370 billion in goods and services annually and is home to more than three and a half million jobs.

“All of us who live by the Bay are uniquely blessed with one of the most beautiful places to live and work in the country, and it is incumbent upon us to protect it,” said Speier.

The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award grant funding on a competitive basis to conservation and restoration projects, consistent with the federal Clean Water Act’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Bay has received $5 million in past annual federal funding, a disproportionately small level of investment compared to funding for other significant water bodies, such as Puget Sound ($25 million in 2013), Chesapeake Bay ($70 million in 2013), and the Great Lakes ($300 million in 2013).

The San Francisco Bay Restoration Act is supported by the entire Bay Area Congressional delegation, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representatives Mark DeSaulnier, Anna Eshoo, John Garamendi, Mike Honda, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Jerry McNerney, Eric Swalwell, and Mike Thompson.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer introduced identical companion legislation in the U.S. Senate today.