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Acterra presents two grant-funded projects to aid watersheds

Marty Grimes
(408) 630-2881 (o)
(408) 202-4398 (m)

November 21, 2012

PALO ALTO — On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Acterra, a non-profit environmental organization based in Palo Alto, presented to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors on the status of two grant-funded watershed restoration projects.

Adobe Creek Redwoods In 2010 the water district board awarded $45,571 to Acterra for the planning and design of a restoration project on Adobe Creek through the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve near downtown Los Altos. This was one of six environmental enhancement grants awarded that year as part of the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection special parcel tax of 2000.

To date, Acterra has utilized the funds to develop a bank stabilization design. The design includes using natural elements to strengthen the creek banks, such as tree root wads and specially placed logs to deflect and slow water flows. The city of Los Altos will be taking over the lead in carrying this project into construction.

In 2011, the district board awarded Acterra a grant of $50,000 for volunteer-driven restoration and revegetation efforts in the San Francisquito Creek Watershed. The project also includes a creek and watershed signage program. More than 120 signs are currently in production and will be placed along 23 creeks, identifying them and the watershed through which they flow.

Acterra’s mission is to bring people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet. It provides people with tangible, hands-on activities they can do to improve the environment. Acterra offers several thousand volunteer opportunities each year for adults and youth.

Claire Elliott, senior ecologist at Acterra, said, “Acterra appreciates the district's support of our efforts to inform and empower local communities to protect and restore watersheds and we look forward to future partnerships with the district.”

Since 2001, the district has awarded $16.4 million to 86 projects in its three grant programs funded by the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Program. The three grant programs are for watershed stewardship, environmental enhancement planning and implementation, and trails and open space.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 1.8 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses throughout Santa Clara County.