By Linda J. LeZotte, representative for District 4
As part of Valley Water’s mission to provide flood protection for our communities, we are continuously preparing for the possibility of flooding. We must regularly keep our streams and creeks well maintained to handle the rainy season and protect the many species of wildlife that live there.
Valley Water’s primary flood prevention efforts are performed annually under the Stream Maintenance Program (SMP). The SMP work kicked off on June 15 and will continue through Oct. 15. We will work at over 30 different locations throughout Santa Clara County that we’ve identified as critical flood protection projects. This work is necessary to help reduce the impact of flooding if we are hit with sudden downpours that could overwhelm our waterways, causing them to overflow into our streets and homes. The program is also intended to improve wildlife habitat by removing invasive plants, trash and debris.
Some of the work performed during the SMP includes removing build-up of rocks that restrict the flow of water, cutting overgrown weeds, trimming trees, planting native plants, stabilizing creek banks that have eroded, and clearing trash and debris.
Several projects are scheduled to take place in District 4 in San Jose:
- Planting native plants that benefit the ecosystem and provide wildlife habitat along areas of Alamitos Creek and Guadalupe Creek.
- Removal of invasive plants that spread aggressively, damages the homes of wildlife, and pose an increased risk of flooding and fire danger at Guadalupe River from Blossom Hill Road to Branham Lane.
- Removal of vegetation to help restore water flow at various parts of Alamitos Creek, Golf Creek, Greystone Creek, and Guadalupe Creek.
While most of the work takes place during the summer, stream maintenance is a year-round effort. However, we can’t do it alone. Join us and be stewards of the environment and protect our creeks and streams by participating in our Adopt-A-Creek Program. Our partners adopt a creek, monitor trash and commit to at least two cleanups a year.
We encourage you to start the process now to adopt a creek near you. Cleanup supplies are provided free of charge. To learn more, visit https://www.valleywater.org/learning-center/adopt-creek.
Let’s work together and continue to do our part in protecting our communities and keeping our families safe. If you notice a problem in our creeks, you can report it on our Access Valley Water service portal to alert our field crews of downed trees, eroding banks, trash and debris, and overgrown vegetation. Visit https://www.valleywater.org/AVWapp.
For more information about SMP, visit https://www.valleywater.org/flooding-safety/stream-maintenance-program.
SMP is partially funded by the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, a voter-approved parcel tax. To learn more, visit www.valleywater.org/safecleanwater.