S.F. Plan Amendment to Allow Bay Filling
John King reports that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission recently amended the 1969 Bay Plan to allow filling of the bay. "The amendment is intended to lay out a fairly straightforward path for public agencies or nonprofit groups that want to create new wetlands as a tool in preparing for higher tides."
The change reflects a shift in thinking about how natural resources should be managed, says King. Fifty years ago, the approach was to leave natural areas as untouched as possible.
With the threat of climate change, however, strategies to prevent and limit the impacts of sea level rise require habitat restoration and other environmental management activities. "In some cases, this would mean filling what now are shallow waters so that native vegetation can take root and establish itself," notes King.