Policy: Funding

Alcatraz Island

Our ability to protect existing habitats and respond to new threats is compromised without adequate funding to: 1) acquire, restore, and manage important habitats in public spaces; 2) continue incentives for the private protection of open spaces; and 3) continue efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of Bay waters upon which birds and people depend. To protect birds in San Francisco Bay region:

Support the efforts of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (California Government Code §66700 et seq.) to establish a regional funding program in the Bay Area. Doing so would support wetlands restoration, enhancement, and management, and associated public access and flood management.

Support full funding for the Federal Land and Water Conservation Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and other relevant federal authorities to increase and improve wetland habitats and wetland-dependent bird populations.

Support federal appropriations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wetland restoration projects authorized in the Water Resources Development Act; appropriations for the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex; and appropriations for NOAA and USEPA for programs focused on wetlands restoration and water quality improvements in San Francisco Bay.

Ensure adequate funding for the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board’s effective enforcement of the Federal Clean Water Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (California Water Code §13000 et seq.), and to local jurisdictions for infrastructure improvements to aid in keeping sewage and animal waste out of the Bay and reducing storm-water pollution, to reduce the threat of catastrophic spills and improve water quality and supply for wildlife and for people.

Ensure adequate funding for the early detection of non-native invasive plants and aquatic organisms, and continue the systematic removal and control of the species that pose a significant threat to birds’ habitats in the Bay region, such as invasive Spartina hybrids.

Restore full funding for the Williamson Act (California Government Code §51200 et seq.), which has historically provided critically important property tax incentives and prevents urban development for over 1.23 million acres of upland bird habitat and open spaces in the nine-county Bay Area region. State funding for this program has been deeply cut and is threatened with elimination.

Support continued state funding for the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program of the State Coastal Conservancy, which provides grants to multiple organizations for wetland restoration and other projects that benefit birds, and support funding for the California Department of Fish and Game to manage their ecological reserves and wildlife areas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Increase local funding for habitat acquisition and management actions by entities such as Open Space Districts, land trusts, and other nongovernmental organizations active in protecting habitats in the Bay Area.

Support science and monitoring associated with restoration and management projects that answer key uncertainties and help guide priorities for future bird habitat protection and enhancement.