A $1.5 million federal grant to fully fund a wetlands restoration feasibility study to protect against flooding and improve wildlife habitat was announced on Thursday by U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Ro Khanna.
The grant from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help begin the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project's Phase III. The project will help mitigate flooding from the bay caused by sea level rise, restore critical wildlife habitat and provide additional recreational opportunities to the community.
According to earlier Shoreline Project reports, San Francisco Bay has lost 90% of its wetlands and watershed due to conversion of bayland to industrial uses, salt ponds, and development.
The Phase III project is part of the broader, more than a half-billion-dollar South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project, which seeks to make vital improvements in Santa Clara County along 18 miles of shoreway from Alviso in the south to San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto. The Phase III project feasibility study is the first step in protecting critical infrastructure, including U.S. Highway 101, NASA Ames Research Center and Moffett Federal Airfield, along with multiple businesses in the shoreline corridor, such as the Google campus. The project area runs from Alviso Slough in Santa Clara to Stevens Creek in Mountain View.
"I'm proud to have secured this funding from the Army Corps to continue this vital project to protect our shoreline from rising sea levels and to restore tidal wetlands in the South Bay. This project will protect thousands of at-risk homes and businesses in our community from coastal flooding and help preserve critical ecosystems," Eshoo said in a statement.
Palo Alto is in Phase II of the project, between Stevens and San Francisquito creeks. Although requested Phase II funding has not been granted in this round, Reps. Eshoo, Khanna, Zoe Lofgren and Jimmy Panetta other congressional members wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 20, 2021, requesting $1.7 million to complete the feasibility study for Shoreline Phase II.
The letter also asked for $108.3 million for Shoreline Phase I, which includes $91.2 million to complete construction and $17.1 million for future phases of wetland restoration and adaptive management in Alviso and the south bay as well as the recently secured $1.5 million to fully fund the feasibility study for Shoreline Phase III.