Measure AA passes in SF Bay Area, ushering a new era of conservation

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is pleased with the passage of Measure AA, titled the “Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure,” a first of its kind regional ballot initiative that will generate $500 million for restoration of San Francisco Bay wetlands over the next 20 years. Needing a required two-thirds majority vote, the measure passed with 69 percent of voters in nine counties approving.

“The San Francisco Bay is a special place and the voters recognized our responsibility to take care of and restore the precious resources found there,” said Mark Biddlecomb, Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region Director of Operations. “DU has been working diligently over the years to restore Bay Area wetlands and having additional resources made available by this measure is welcome news.”

The parcel tax of $12 per year over the next two decades will restore wetlands throughout the Bay Area, which provide habitat for waterfowl and filter out pollutants from water to reduce toxins that threaten the ecosystem. Wetlands also act as a natural barrier against flooding and provide urban recreational open space.

Ducks Unlimited worked with a coalition of 2,000 individuals and organizations, including conservation groups, politicians and businesses, to promote the passage of Measure AA, continuing its focus on the Bay Area as a conservation priority. Ducks Unlimited played a pivotal role in several recently completed Bay Area habitat restoration projects, including at Bair Island, Cullinan Ranch, and Sears Point.

Waterfowl, primarily diving ducks, winter in large numbers throughout the San Francisco region, which has lost more than 80 percent of its historic wetlands. Most years, the Bay winters the majority of Pacific Flyway canvasbacks, scaup, surf scoters and buffleheads. However, overall waterfowl use is much reduced from historic highs.