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Lawmakers propose measure they believe would save Bay from future flooding

Lawmakers want Californians to have the chance to vote on a new measure they believe would save the Bay from future flooding.

On Friday, lawmakers and climate advocates on the Peninsula proposed a vote to help protect people, homes and businesses near the water.

“Low-lying communities are all at risk but the impacts of sea level rise will soon be felt by all residents of the Bay Area,” said Assemblymemebr Damon Connolly.

Specifically, they’re pushing for a $16 billion climate resiliency bond.

It covers many issues, including wildfire prevention, and clean energy – but it would also fund some of the projects that non-profit Save the Bay says are urgently needed.

“Because of the budget deficit we’ve had, it’s really going to necessitate some bond money to give us what we need to do these infrastructure improvements so that folks are protected and they aren’t vulnerable to sea level rise which is coming now,” said Assemblymember Diane Papan. 

They held the event Friday as the King Tides rolled in.

The bond would allow more work like what we saw two months ago when U.S. Fish and Wildlife breached a levee to launch the growth of a new 300-acre tidal marsh. 

It not only expands an ecosystem, but scientists say the marsh works like a sponge and can hold water during a high tide or a flood. So, it also works as natural protection.

“We’re very concerned that over the past decade we’ve seen nearly every single climate-related record in California, broken. In some cases, numerous times,” said Adrian Covert, senior vice president of public policies for the Bay Area Council. 

Local community advocates who live in East Palo Alto say those projects would ease residents’ fears – and lower their flood insurance rates.

“This is one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods of East Palo Alto and if water comes this way [off the mountains from rain] And then the sea level rises, then East Palo Alto will be a bathtub,” said Violet Saena, founder of Climate Resilient Communities. 

The bond would have to pass through the legislature before making it on the November ballot.

Advocates say – the need – is urgent.

“The longer the state and federal government wait to help with those investments, the longer it will take and the more expensive it will be to provide that protection,” said David Lewis, executive director of Save the Bay.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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