The mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose have joined forces to support Measure AA by dedicating the first Saturday of October as “Bay Day,” a new annual celebration of San Francisco’s Bay.
The creation of Bay Day comes ahead of Tuesday’s important vote on Measure AA, a $12-per-year parcel tax over 20 years that is projected to raise about $500 million to restore wetlands and protect shorelines throughout the Bay Area. The money will help to prevent floods, promote conservation, restore 15,000 acres of wetlands and create 25 miles of new Bay trails.
Measure AA has gained across-the-board support — environmental groups, business leaders, industry including Chevron Richmond, and political and business leaders from around the Bay Area’s nine-county region have been pushing for its passage.
In a statement, Mayor Libby Schaaf (pictured above) said she has partnered with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, as well as non-profit organization Save The Bay, to dedicate “Bay Day” and to reiterate support for Measure AA.
On each Bay Day, a region-wide celebration will include Bay-themed programs and activities involving cultural attractions, community organizations, small businesses and parks around the Bay Area.
“The Bay Area boasts beautiful views, innovative people and diverse cities; and with nature so close, it’s in the fabric of our everyday lives,” Mayor Schaaf said. “There’s something truly amazing about this place and it deserves to be celebrated. Through the dedication of Bay Day and proposals like Measure AA, we are making moves towards protecting and securing the future of the Bay so that it may stay healthy long into the future.”
Supporters say Measure AA is crucial to tackle challenges posed by trash, toxins and dramatic sea-level rise.
The completion of wetlands restoration projects benefit all: people, wildlife and the regional economy, supporters say.
The measure has been in the works for 13 years, with 30,000 acres already having been reserved for restoration, according to David Lewis, Executive Director of Save the Bay.
The funds raised through Measure AA would also help to leverage additional state and federal dollars to complete the work.
“The individual cities of the Bay Area are vibrant and unique, but our region is united by the shared natural resources that we all enjoy,” “Mayor Liccardo said in support of Measure AA.
Mayor Lee says the measure “ensures a safe, clean and healthy Bay for our future generations.”
“Our Bay deserves to be celebrated—because there’s no place else like it in the world,” Mayor Lee said. “I am proud to join with the mayors of Oakland and San Jose to establish Bay Day: One official day every year when our communities can come together and celebrate our most precious resource – the Bay.”