Nearly 16% of California's coastal marine ecosystems are now protected under the California Marine Life Protected Act. As the largest and most important estuary on the west coast of North America, the Bay was originally intended for inclusion under the Act, marine protection has stalled at the Golden Gate. Critical marine and estuarine habitat, endangered and economically important species still need our protection.
The San Francisco Bay is the largest and most important estuary on the west coast of North America, providing critical wetland and eelgrass habitat for sharks, salmon, herring and other species. The Bay estuary is part of the Pacific Flyway providing refuge for more than 600 different species of birds between Alaska and Patagonia. This essential marine habitat has suffered two centuries of habitat destruction from siltation, development, pollution, dredging and impacts from overfishing.
Over the last decade, California has demonstrated world leadership through protecting species and habitat in an ecosystems based management approach. We commend the Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the countless California stakeholders who worked so hard to protect our coastal resources and habitat. We urge you to continue building on this good work and support establishing a network of marine protected areas inside the San Francisco Bay.
Please support protecting sharks and marine habitat for the health and future of the San Francisco Bay by establishing Marine Protected Areas into the San Francisco Bay.