San Francisco Environment Department

Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approve Resolution to Make Protecting Biodiversity a Citywide Priority

April 17, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO – Tuesday, just in time for Earth Day celebrations, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer that would make protecting biodiversity a priority for City agencies and establish a framework for interagency collaboration for nature-based initiatives. While San Francisco has a long history of cherishing its natural heritage and managing its parks and green spaces for biodiversity, the impacts of climate change pose significant threat to local plant and animal life.

“We are in the midst of not only a global climate crisis, but a global biodiversity crisis,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer. “We must protect our local ecosystems from harm, restore habitats where possible, and ensure our land management practices preserve our natural environment. I am proud to sponsor this resolution to foster greater collaboration from City departments in the stewardship of our natural areas, parks, and green spaces across San Francisco.”

San Francisco is located within one of the world's 35 global biodiversity hotspots – the state of California. Despite the city being 95% developed, San Francisco is home to hundreds of different native plants and animal species, including ten federally listed endangered species. However, these species and their habitats are under constant threat from a changing climate and ecosystem collapse.

Supervisor Fewer’s resolution builds upon the City’s existing biodiversity policies, which include managing natural areas for wildlife and rare plant habitat; leading bio-blitzes in neighborhoods to find and document local species; educating the public about how to live with coyotes in the city; and integrating habitat-friendly greening into the built environment.

“From Ocean Beach to Treasure Island, we are gifted with a unique natural environment worth protecting,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment. “As San Francisco continues to grow and change, we want to make sure it remains a sustainable and healthy city where all of its inhabitants can thrive: human, animal, and plant. Our fellow City agencies share this commitment, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them to ensure the success of this policy.”
The goal of the resolution is to provide a framework for City agencies to collaborate, share best practices, and ensure their strategic operations and capital plans promote the conservation of local plants and animals and better connect San Franciscans to nature where they live.

The resolution was the result of a series of convenings of City agencies led by the San Francisco Department of Environment and the Planning Department over the past year. The resolution names 15 City agencies including the San Francisco Airport, Animal Care and Control, Children Youth and Families, Municipal Transportation Agency, Planning Department, the Port, Public Health Department, Public Library, Public Utilities Commission, Public Works Department, Real Estate Department, Recreation and Park Department, Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, and Treasure Island Development Authority.

The resolution was supported by the Sab Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Livable Cities, and the Golden Gate Audubon Society.  The Department of Environment is the lead agency charged with implementation of the resolution.

Media Contacts:
Chelsea Boilard, Supervisor Fewer’s Office, [email protected], 415-554-7413


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