Public Resources Code Section 31160-31165
31160. The San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program is
established pursuant to this chapter, to be administered by the
conservancy, to address the resource and recreational goals of the
San Francisco Bay area, as identified in Section 31162, in a
coordinated, comprehensive, and effective way.
31161. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the nine
counties that bound San Francisco Bay constitute a region with unique
natural resource and outdoor recreational needs. San Francisco Bay
is the central feature in an interconnected open-space system of
watersheds, natural habitats, waterways, scenic areas, agricultural
lands, and regional trails.
31162. The conservancy may undertake projects and award grants in
the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area that will help achieve the
following goals of the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program:
(a) To improve public access to, within, and around the bay,
coast, ridgetops, and urban open spaces, consistent with the rights
of private property owners, and without having a significant adverse
impact on agricultural operations and environmentally sensitive areas
and wildlife, including wetlands and other wildlife habitats through
completion and operation of regional bay, coast, water, and ridge
trail systems, and local trails connecting to population centers and
public facilities, which are part of a regional trail system and are
consistent with locally and regionally adopted master plans and
general plans, and through the provision and preservation of related
facilities, such as interpretive centers, picnic areas, staging
areas, and campgrounds.
(b) To protect, restore, and enhance natural habitats and
connecting corridors, watersheds, scenic areas, and other open-space
resources of regional importance.
(c) To assist in the implementation of the policies and programs
of the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with
Section 30000)), the San Francisco Bay Plan, and the adopted plans of
local governments and special districts.
(d) To promote, assist, and enhance projects that provide open
space and natural areas that are accessible to urban populations for
recreational and educational purposes.
31163. (a) The conservancy shall cooperate with cities, counties,
and districts, the bay commission, other regional governmental
bodies, nonprofit land trusts, nonprofit landowner organizations, and
other interested parties in identifying and adopting long-term
resource and outdoor recreational goals for the San Francisco Bay
area, which shall guide the ongoing activities of the San Francisco
Bay Area Conservancy Program. The conservancy shall utilize the list
of priority areas and concerns established by the bay commission
pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 31056 as guidance in the
selection of those San Francisco area projects that are within the
jurisdiction of the bay commission. However, the guidance provided by
the bay commission is advisory and the conservancy shall have the
responsibility for making program decisions. Any acquisition of real
property using funds authorized pursuant to this chapter shall be
from willing sellers if the land is actively farmed or ranched. Any
acquisition of real property by the conservancy pursuant to this
chapter shall be from willing sellers.
(b) The conservancy shall participate in and support interagency
actions and public/private partnerships in the San Francisco Bay area
for the purpose of implementing subdivision (a), and providing for
broad-based local involvement in, and support for, the San Francisco
Bay Area Conservancy Program.
(c) The conservancy shall utilize the criteria specified in this
subdivision to develop project priorities for the San Francisco Bay
Area Conservancy Program that provide for development and acquisition
projects, urban and rural projects, and open space and outdoor
recreational projects. The conservancy shall give priority to
projects that, to the greatest extent, meet the following criteria:
(1) Are supported by adopted local or regional plans.
(2) Are multijurisdictional or serve a regional constituency.
(3) Can be implemented in a timely way.
(4) Provide opportunities for benefits that could be lost if the
project is not quickly implemented.
(5) Include matching funds from other sources of funding or
(d) (1) The conservancy shall be the lead agency in the funding
and development of projects implementing the San Francisco Bay Area
Water Trail Plan prepared pursuant to Section 66694 of the Government
(2) During the period when the plan is being prepared and after
the completion of the plan, the conservancy may undertake projects
and award grants that are generally consistent with and advance the
preparation of the plan or achieve the implementation of the plan.
(3) To advance the preparation of the plan, the conservancy shall
help coordinate a collaborative partnership with the bay commission,
the Association of Bay Area Governments, and other interested
persons, organizations, and agencies, including, but not limited to,
interested state, county, and district departments and commissions,
parks and park districts, ports, regional governmental bodies,
nonprofit groups, user groups, and businesses.
(4) In developing the plan and undertaking projects to implement
the plan, areas for which access is to be managed or prohibited shall
be determined in consultation with resource protection agencies, the
United States Coast Guard, the Water Transit Authority, the State
Lands Commission, local law enforcement agencies, and through the
environmental review process required by the California Environmental
Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).
(5) Upon the completion of the plan, the conservancy shall
consider the plan's adoption and inclusion of the appropriate
elements of the plan in the conservancy's strategic plan.
(6) The conservancy shall not award a grant or undertake a project
for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail that would have a
significant adverse impact on a sensitive wildlife area or is in
conflict with the goals of subdivision (a) of Section 31162.
31164. (a) The San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program Account
is hereby created in the State Coastal Conservancy Fund, for the
purpose of depositing and disbursing funds, upon appropriation by the
Legislature, for the administration and implementation of the San
Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program. All funds that are
appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes of this chapter, and
all reimbursements, proceeds of sale, or other money received by the
conservancy for the purposes of this chapter and derived from
projects funded from this account shall be deposited in this account.
Interest on funds in this account shall accrue to the General Fund.
The conservancy shall account for all deposits and reimbursements of
funds in this account.
(b) Funds that are derived from other sources, exclusive of state
or federal funds, for the purposes of this chapter, including, but
not limited to, private donations, fees, penalties, and local
government contributions, shall be deposited in the San Francisco Bay
Area Conservancy Program Account in the Coastal Trust Fund pursuant
to Section 31012.
31165. In order to benefit the San Francisco Bay region, the
conservancy may undertake projects and award grants for activities
that are compatible with the preservation, restoration, or
enhancement of ocean, coastal, bay, or watershed resources, or that
facilitate environmental education related to these resources. These
projects or activities may include, but are not limited to, exhibits
or events emphasizing coastal, watershed, or ocean resources
education, or maritime history, or the development of amenities and
infrastructure consistent with this chapter.