Two years ago, 70 percent of voters in the 9-county Bay Area approved a ballot measure to generate $500 million over the course of 20 years to be used for flood protection and environmental restoration projects.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority awarded the first round grants from Measure AA, and included $4.4 million to the Santa Clara Valley Water District for the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project. This project would provide flood protection, restore 2,900 acres of former salt evaporation ponds and improve public access to recreation.
A partnership between the water district, the State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the project will protect against coastal flooding and rising seas as well as enhance habitat for endangered species and provide important recreation opportunities to the South Bay, such as completion of gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail.
It includes construction of 4 miles of a flood risk management levee, restoration of 2,900 acres of tidal marsh habitat, reduction of coastal flood risk for about 5,500 people, protection of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility that serves 1.4 million, of State Route 237, a major Silicon Valley commute artery, and of the water district’s Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.
The project is currently undergoing design and permitting. The full project cost is estimated at $174 million, with the federal share expected to be just over $70 million. The Measure AA funds will go toward the project’s local cost share required by the district and Coastal Conservancy.
The money for Measure AA comes from a $12 parcel tax to be used to reduce pollution and toxins in the Bay; improve water quality; restore habitat for fish, birds and wildlife; protect communities from floods; and increase shoreline public access.