Rep. Jackie Speier introduces bill for Bay’s environmental health | News

A rare Ridgway’s rail pops its head out from under some pickleweed during high tide in the marsh at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve on Jan. 12, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, announced a bill on Thursday that seeks to use federal funding to improve the San Francisco Bay’s environmental health.

H.R. 1132 — also called the San Francisco Bay Restoration Act — would authorize $50 million per year for five years to pay for environmental restoration activities within the Bay and the creation of a San Francisco Bay Program Office inside the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“San Francisco Bay is a national treasure and the lifeblood of our region, producing over $370 billion in goods and services annually and supporting more than 4 million jobs,” Speier said in a news release.

“Tragically, the federal government has been complicit in its deterioration. The $250 million authorized in my bill would go a long way towards restoring wetlands and estuaries, helping endangered species recover, and study water quality improvement and adaptation to climate change.”

The activities funded by the bill can encompass a range of restoration efforts, and seek to revive endangered species in the Bay, such as salt marsh harvest mice and the Ridgway’s rail. The Bay’s marshes are also nursery areas for salmon.

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