Water district board hosts Coyote Creek Cleanup

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors invites you to a community cleanup event along Coyote Creek on Saturday, Sept. 30. The cleanup will include two locations at the Rock Springs Drive and William Street neighborhoods. Register for one of the sites with the information below:

Rock Springs/Wool Creek
Location: 665 Wool Creek Dr., San Jose (behind Shirakawa Elementary School)
Time: 8:30 a.m. – noon
Register here: https://coyotecreekrocksprings.eventbrite.com 

William Street to 280
Location: 791 William St., San Jose (at the Coyote Creek Outdoor Classroom)
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Register here: https://coyotecreekwilliamstreet.eventbrite.com

To coordinate this community event, the district is teaming up with the City of San José, Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition, and the Downtown Streets Team. The event is also co-sponsored by the following: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, District 19; State Senator Jim Beall, District 15; Assemblymember Ash Kalra, District 27; County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, District 2; San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and San José Councilmembers Tam Nguyen, District 7 and Raul Peralez, District 3.

Coyote Creek is the county’s longest waterway, spanning 63 miles from the ridges of Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill to the South San Francisco Bay, running through San Jose and Milpitas. This creek is located in the county’s largest watershed, the Coyote Watershed, a 322-square mile area which includes both urban and agricultural areas. There are 16 major creeks in this county, with several feeding into Coyote Creek.

This large waterway has a history of flooding, dating back to the early 1900s and as recently as 2017, when a series of atmospheric river storms dumped record-setting rainfall in San Jose. The water district completed a flood protection project on Coyote Creek from the Bay to Montague Expressway in the 1990s with federal funding and the support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But plenty of the creek remains a natural channel where cleanup operations are limited due to environmental regulations and lack of property access.

Despite these limitations, the water district has been committed to keeping creeks clean and healthy through habitat restoration and cleanups like this one. Coyote Creek has been included in the district’s volunteer cleanup efforts in the past. In partnership with the City of San Jose and Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, the water district has arranged various locations along Coyote Creek for volunteer cleanups during Coastal Cleanup Day in September and National River Cleanup Day in May.

This board-hosted cleanup is just one in a series of short-term and long-term efforts the water district embarked on since the flooding last winter to improve the creek’s condition. This summer, after obtaining necessary environmental permits and permission to enter the city-owned property, crews have also been removing trash, debris, trees and invasive vegetation, as well as clearing out homeless encampments in the creek. In August, crews began a large invasive vegetation removal effort that will remove over 16 acres of invasive plant species. These large cleanup efforts will help prepare the creek to carry water flows safely during winter storms.

To receive updates on Coyote Creek efforts join the mailing list here.

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