The Hayward community places a high value on its natural resources and is committed to the preservation and enhancement of its baylands, hillsides, and creek and open space corridors. These natural resources provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species, function as part of the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds, contribute to the ecological health of the San Francisco Bay, and provide residents and visitors with opportunities to exercise, enjoy nature, and view scenic resources. Water and air are also important natural resources that are critical to sustaining a healthy population and growing economy. Improving air and water quality, conserving water and energy resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable energy are also major priorities of Hayward.
The Natural Resources Element establishes goals and policies to protect and enhance the natural resources within the Hayward Planning Area. The goals and policies address a variety of topics, including biological resources, air quality and greenhouse gas reduction, open space, energy resources and efficiency, mineral resources, hydrology and water quality, water conservation, paleontological resources, and scenic resources. A number of goals and polices also serve as Climate Action Plan actions, which are designed to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
Other elements of the General Plan contain similar goals and polices related to the protection of natural resources. Most notably, supporting goals and policies are located within the Land Use and Community Character Element, the Mobility Element, and the Community Health and Quality of Life Element.