Scientists push for restoring wetlands in the South Bay

Local authorities and groups are embarking on a massive wetland restoration project they say could help prevent flooding in local communities.

With experts predicting the San Francisco Bay could rise 10 inches by 2030, local authorities and groups are embarking on a massive wetland restoration project they say could help prevent flooding in local communities.

The Bay has lost roughly 90 percent of its original 200,000 acres of wetlands over the past century, primarily to development. Only about 40,000 acres remain.

Bay Area scientists would like to see that number more than double by 2030, an effort that could cost $1.5 billion. The Baylands Goals Science Update, a report released on Oct. 12 that was authored by more than 200 scientists and government experts, calls for the restoration of 42,000 acres of wetland.

“The report was kind of a wake-up call,” said Letitia Grenier, the science lead for the report.

But authorities are wildly short on funding for the estimated $1.5 billion necessary to restore 42,000 acres. A new ballot measure is proposed for next year that would place a $12 parcel tax across all nine counties around the Bay. It would raise $500 million dollars over the course of its 20-year span.

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