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B7: Support Volunteer Cleanup Efforts and Education*

About This Project

This project provides grants and partnerships for cleanup, education, outreach and watershed stewardship activities. Funding also allows Valley Water to continue supporting volunteer cleanup activities such as National River Cleanup Day, California Coastal Cleanup Day, the Great American Pick Up, and Adopt-A-Creek, as well as Creek Connections Action Group and creekwise education.


*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

Volunteers NRCD
On Target
Start FY 2014 / Finish FY 2028
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($2.4 million)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

Grants and partnerships  

We are currently accepting grant applications for the Support Volunteer Cleanup Efforts and Education grant program from September 28 through December 1, 2020.

For information on how to apply, visit

Sign up to receive notifications for all of the Valley Water’s upcoming grant cycles: [email protected]


The FY2019 Support Volunteer Cleanup Efforts and Education grant cycle opened on Nov. 13, 2018 and closed on Feb. 15, 2019. On April 23, 2019, the Board awarded a total of $96,112 for three (3) projects. Of the five (5) applications received, the three (3) projects recommended and awarded funding were: 

  • Gilroy Compassion Center-South County Creeks Team Project ($30,000)
  • Grassroots Ecology- Young Watershed Stewards Project ($44,301)
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation- Down the Drain Project ($21,811)


FY2019 is not a partnership year for B7 Support Volunteer Cleanup Efforts & Education.


Volunteer cleanup events

  • National River Cleanup Day - Due to public health issues as it relates to COVID-19, National River Cleanup Day 2020 was cancelled.

  • Coastal Cleanup Day (Sept. 21, 2019): 2,166 volunteers picked up more than 48,892 pounds of trash including 4,405 pounds of recyclables along 58.1 miles of creeks in Santa Clara Valley. 

  • Great American Litter Pickup - Due to public health issues as it relates to COVID-19, the City of San José cancelled the Great American Litter Pickup 2020. 

  • Adopt-A-Creek (Year Round): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the County Public Health's Shelter in Place order, the Adopt-A-Creek program has been suspended. Staff continues to monitor the situation to ensure public safety before resuming the program. However, we are still accepting applications and processing permits in preparation of a reopening.

The Power of Volunteers

The Zero Litter Initiative, a subcommittee of the Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management Initiative, gathered volunteer cleanup data over the course of 13 years to highlight the power and collective efforts of volunteers. The fact sheet was funded by the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP). The data used to create the information were obtained from Valley Water and other SCVURPPP member agencies. 

Updated July 2020

For more information: 

Grant opportunity

Grants and partnerships

Volunteer cleanup events


Reports & Documents

Grant Projects


The following projects received grant funding from Project B7.

Grantee Project Name  Status Documents 
Acterra Stewardship Acterra Lower Peninsula Healthy Creeks Project  Complete Final Report
Clean Water Fund  ReThink Disposable: Preventing Riparian Trash at the Source Complete

Fact Sheet


Save the Bay  Clean Bay Project Complete Final Report
Girl Scouts of Northern California Girl Scouts Go Green in SC County  Complete

Fact Sheet


City of Sunnyvale Schools Goin' Green  Complete

Fact Sheet


Environmental Volunteers  Education for Clean Water  Complete

Fact Sheet


San Jose Parks Foundation  Trash Free Coyote Creek education and Outreach Project 


Fact Sheet


Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

Guadalupe Watershed Education Campaign



Breathe California of the Bay Area

Youth for a Cool Earth (Y4CE)



Gilroy Compassion Center

South County Creeks Team



City of Campbell

Los Gatos Creek Trail Interpretive Signage and Receptacle Expansion 



South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition 

Friends of Coyote Creek Watershed North Coyote Creek Stewardship Project



Girl Scouts of Northern California

Girls Scouts Go Green in Santa Clara County



Grassroots Ecology

Stevens Creek Monitoring & Education Project



Save the Bay

Zero Trash Campaign 


South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition

Los Gatos Creek TEAM 222




Updated May 2018 

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program 

  1. Provide 7 grant cycles and 3 partnerships that follow pre-established competitive criteria related to cleanups, education and outreach, and stewardship activities.

  2. Fund Valley Water support of annual National River Cleanup Day, California Coastal Cleanup Day,  the Great American Pick Up, and fund the Adopt-A-Creek Program.


  • Reduces contaminants entering our waterways and groundwater

  • Engages community and supports watershed stewardship

  • Leverages volunteer community resources for efficient use of funds

Geographic Area of Benefit 


History & Background

About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

In November 2012 the voters of Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as a countywide special parcel tax for 15 years with a sunset date of June 30, 2028. This Program replaced the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, which voters approved in November 2000.

The Safe, Clean Water Program was developed with input from more than 16,000 residents and stakeholders and was created to match the community’s needs and values. The voters of Santa Clara County identified five priorities:

Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

Priority C: Protect our Water Supply from Earthquakes and Natural Disasters

Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools and Highways 

Other: Six projects from the Clean, Safe, Creeks Plan have been carried forward into the Safe, Clean Water Program.  

Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these Program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The  Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the Program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board.

In addition, the Program requires three independent audits, the first of which was conducted in FY 2017.

View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the Valley Water website.