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Pollution prevention and wildlife habitat restoration proposals sought

May 13, 2015

More than $2.5 million available for grants and partnerships

SAN JOSE—As part of the voter-approved Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is requesting proposals for up to $2.557 million in grants and partnerships to implement projects that will prevent pollution and restore wildlife habitat in Santa Clara County.

To help prevent pollution from reaching local waterways and groundwater, $200,000 is available for partnerships with municipalities, and $500,000 for grants to organizations, schools and agencies. For wildlife habitat restoration, $1,857,000 is available for grants and partnerships. The funding limit for each proposal is between $25,000 to $200,000 for pollution prevention proposals; and $50,000 to $500,000 for wildlife habitat restoration projects.

Priority themes for the Fiscal Year 2016 funding cycle have been developed and approved by the water district board.

For pollution prevention, the priority themes are:

  • to implement specific pollution prevention or reduction activities identified in existing countywide or regional plans; 
  • to increase the permeability of urban areas; 
  • to increase trash free areas in riparian areas; and 
  • to prevent pharmaceutical waste and other pollutants from entering our waterways.

Details on the application process for the pollution prevention grants and partnerships are provided at

For wildlife habitat restoration, the priority themes are:

  • to further the wildlife habitat restoration goals of existing plans; 
  • to restore and protect riparian corridor, tidal or other wetland habitats, including freshwater wetlands and vernal pools; 
  • to protect special status species and support habitat improvements; and 
  • to emphasize projects with ecosystem, watershed-scale benefits.

Details on the application process for the wildlife habitat restoration proposals are provided at

Cities, towns, Santa Clara County, local non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, open space districts, mutual water agencies/districts (public and not for profit), resource conservation districts and schools that have interests and experience in pollution prevention and wildlife habitat restoration are encouraged to submit project proposals.

Entities and individuals with expertise in pollution prevention and habitat restoration projects are encouraged to participate in an upcoming pre-proposal workshop and network with eligible entities. The workshop will be held at the water district on May 27, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. Proposals are due on Aug. 10, 2015.

The grant and partnership funding comes from the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, which was approved by voters in 2012. Each year, one or more grant programs will have a new funding cycle. This cycle will fund grants and partnerships for pollution prevention and wildlife habitat restoration.

This program builds on the work of FY 2014 funding cycle, in which the water district awarded 15 grants totaling more than $2 million under the Safe, Clean Water Program to address the following priorities: 1) pollution prevention, 2) volunteer cleanup efforts and education, and 3) wildlife habitat restoration.

For the FY 2015 funding cycle, three trail and open space grants were awarded to three projects, totaling $571,000.

During the 15-year life of the Safe, Clean Water Program, the water district expects to distribute nearly $35 million in grants, partnerships and rebate programs to support the district’s mission to provide Silicon Valley safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment and economy.

Valley Water 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 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 277 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 in Santa Clara County.