New Senate Bill to Fund South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project
The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in San Jose held a media tour for the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project. Santa Clara County and California State officials, along with sponsors, gathered to discuss the project and the new SB 881 bill which will help provide funding.
According to Senator Bob Wieckowski, SB 881 will authorize reimbursement funds from the state Flood Control Subventions Program to support the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project.
“So Senate Bill 881 will add the Santa Clara Water District to the list of entities that can get reimbursed by the state of California. I introduced it on request of the Santa Clara Water District,” explained Senator Bob Wieckowski.
This bill will essentially allow the project to receive grant money from the government to help fund the shoreline restoration project.
“This project is going to cost 177 million to design and construct, and the district and our partners have already spent 22 million just to get to this design point, so in all it’s like 190 million dollars for this project…So Senator Wieckowski is key in that he is able to push a bill forward to allow the project to be eligible for that state subvention dollar,” said Rechelle Blank, engineering unit manager.
According to Blank, the project will cost approximately $177 million to complete, of which $70.3 million (40 percent) will be federal money and $103.8 million will be non-federal.
The main goal of the shoreline restoration project is to restore the wetlands and build flood protection levees along the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Blank explained that the wetlands in the wildlife refuge have been sinking due to the past removal of underground water for orchard farming. This could potentially place the area at risk of flooding during storm surges in the future.
The idea of putting in levees is to protect the Alviso houses from flooding in case of storm surges.