SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Bay estuary has been added to a list of protected wetlands under a 1971 international treaty among 163 countries meant to limit damaging development along ecologically important waterways.

Ramsar Convention officials on Friday announced the U.S. government had added the bay as the nation's 35th "wetland of importance" under the treaty.

The designation means the country is committed to not promoting projects that alter designated ecosystems.

The San Francisco Bay estuary is the largest on the U.S. Pacific coast, and comprises 77-percent of California's remaining wetland areas. It is home to more than 1,000 animal species.

Melissa Pitkin, spokeswoman for PRBO Conservation Science, said decades of research informed this designation, and while it doesn't come with new regulations, it helps bolster local conservation efforts through international pressure.

Dona Ruth Frank

Age: 58

City: Santa Rosa

Title: founder of the Natural Cannabis Company and three dispensaries, OrganiCann in Santa Rosa, Mendocino Organics in Hopland and Oakland Organics

Stance on Proposition 64: Yes

Quote: “Who wants to smoke weed with the label: ‘Grown in a warehouse in Colorado?’”

Other figures shaping North Coast marijuana trade

The Chemist: Samantha Miller, president of a leading Santa Rosa-based cannabis testing lab

The Lawmaker: North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire, co-author of 2015 medical marijuana law

The Advocate: Tawnie Logan, executive director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance

The Consultant: Craig Litwin, cannabis industry adviser, ex-Sebastopol councilman