The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is responsible for the management of the San Francisco Bay. It's a California State commission and was created in 1965.


According to the commission's official site: "Alarmed by the fact that between 1850 and 1960 an average of four square miles of the Bay were filled each year, in 1961 citizens in the Bay Area formed the Save San Francisco Bay Association, now called Save the Bay. At the urging of this organization, state legislation--the McAteer-Petris Act--was passed in 1965 to establish the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) as a temporary state agency. The Commission was charged with preparing a plan for the long-term use of the Bay and regulating development in and around the Bay while the plan was being prepared."

Why might you come into contact with the BCDC?

Primarily if you're interested in building something along the waterfront of the Bay - in any one of a number of counties that border the Bay.

They have jurisdiction over these areas:

  • "The open water, marshes and mudflats of greater San Francisco Bay, including Suisun, San Pablo, Honker, Richardson, San Rafael, San Leandro and Grizzly Bays and the Carquinez Strait.

  • The first 100 feet inland from the shoreline around San Francisco Bay.

  • The portion of the Suisun Marsh-including levees, waterways, marshes and grasslands- below the ten-foot contour line.

  • Portions of most creeks, rivers, sloughs and other tributaries that flow into San Francisco Bay.

  • Salt ponds, duck hunting preserves, game refuges and other managed wetlands that have been diked off from San Francisco Bay." [from the BCDC FAQ]

And you need a permit from them if you intend to do one of these things:

  • "Place solid material, build or repair docks, pile-supported or cantilevered structures, dispose of material or moor a vessel for a long period in San Francisco Bay or in certain tributaries that flow into the Bay.
  • Dredge or extract material from the Bay bottom.
  • Substantially change the use of any structure or area.
  • Construct, remodel or repair a structure.
  • Subdivide property or grade land." [from the BCDC FAQ]

As you may have already guessed, you should consult the BCDC FAQ for lots more info.

Contact Info

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 10600
San Francisco, CA 94102-7019
Phone: 415.352.3600
Fax: 415.352.3606
Email: [email protected]

Learn more

Learn more on Wikipedia and on the official site.