Monday, December 22, 2008

The Gov signs our wetlands bill!

by Jessica Castelli, Communications Director

Originally posted on October 2, 2008

The Save The Bay staff is jumping up and down in excitement and celebratory orange and blue streamers are hanging from our hallways—we are celebrating a landmark win for San Francisco Bay wetlands!

Late Tuesday night Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 2954, establishing the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to secure crucial funding to restore Bay wetlands. Creating this Authority is the primary recommendation in Save The Bay's ground-breaking August 2007 "Greening the Bay" report. And the policy team has been working very hard over the past year to make this bill a reality!

Scientists say that establishing 100,000 acres of wetlands is essential to a healthy, sustainable Bay. However, securing the funding necessary to pay for restoration has been the biggest obstacle to reaching this goal. Now with the enactment of AB 2954, the 100,000 acre goal is in reach! The next step is for the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to appoint seven board members to the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, to being exploring ways to secure regional funding for wetland restoration.

Assembly Speaker pro Tem Sally Lieber (the bill's author) said it well: "It's our responsibility to take care of and restore San Francisco Bay, one of our State's most valuable and beautiful natural treasures. Our greatest asset is also one of our greatest protections against the impacts of global warming. Our bay wetlands provide natural flood control and capture greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere."

Thank you to everyone who took our action and asked the Governor to sign AB 2954—your voice made a difference! We'd like to ask you to also send a thank you message to the Governor. He vetoed a heck of a lot of bills this year and we want to thank him for signing this one.

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