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E7: San Francisco Bay Shoreline Protection*

About This Project

This project is a partnership with the California State Coastal Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and regional stakeholders to provide tidal flood protection, restore and enhance tidal marsh and related habitats, and provide recreational and public access opportunities. Initial construction for flood protection is planned for Economic Impact Area (EIA) 11, which is the urban area of North San José and the community of Alviso.

This project relies on federal participation from USACE to review and approve the plans. Without federal participation, Valley Water cannot implement additional planning, design and construction due to limited available funding. The proposed Safe, Clean Water funding provides the District’s cost share to complete the planning study for EIAs 1-10, and provides a portion of Valley Water’s cost share toward design and construction of flood protection improvements in the North San José area (EIA 11), in and near Alviso.

Photograph by Cris Benton.

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


Shoreline - Chicago Marsh Cris Benton
On Target
Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale
Start FY 2014 / Finish FY 2028
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($24.9 million); Watershed Stream Stewardship Fund
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

Economic Impact Area (EIA) 11

EIAs 11 includes the urban area of North San José, the community of Alviso and the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.

2019 Pre-Construction Work Activities:

  • During truck hauling operation to Pond A12, expect daily closures of the maintenance access road between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. During this time the trails leading to Pond A12 in the Alviso Marina County Park will be closed during truck hauling operations. Snowy plovers along with other wildlife use the Alviso Ponds as a nesting habitat. Trail users are strictly prohibited from entering into Pond A12 or any of the other Alviso Ponds and are to remain on the designated trails. See original public notice for the truck hauling efforts here.
  • UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 19, 2019: The City of San José’s street work on Elizabeth Street between Gold St. and El Dorado St., part of the City’s Alviso Pump Station Project, is now opened to two-way traffic. As a result, the Shoreline Project haul route will now be reverted back to the original haul route. See original public notice for the truck hauling efforts here.

  • Original Public Notice Truck haul efforts from March 22, 2019.

Current Activities:

Valley Water is working with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) to begin construction of Reach 1 and complete the levee design plans and specifications for Reaches 2 and 3 in 2019. Reach 1 extends from the Alviso Marina to the Union Pacific Railroad. Reaches 2 & 3 extend from the Union Pacific Railroad to the Don Edwards Wildfire Refuge/Artesian Slough.  Reach 1 construction activities include acquiring the necessary rights-of-way and fill material, as well as working to keep the community informed of Reach 1 truck hauling activities.

Reach 1 Design and Permits:

  • 100% Reach 1 levee design Plans and Specifications – Completed

  • San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board permit for Reach 1 construction - Received December 2017.

  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission permit for Reach 1 construction – Received January 2018.

  • Reach 1 right-of-way fully acquired – September 2019.

Reach 1 Construction:

  • Valley Water begins stockpiling levee fill material in Pond A12 – May 2019.

  • USACE anticipates advertising for Reach 1 construction Fall 2019.

  • USACE anticipates beginning construction in early 2020.

Reaches 2 & 3 Design and Permits:

  • 90% Reaches 2 & 3 levee design Plans and Specifications - September 2019.

  • San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board permit for Reaches 2 and 3 construction - Received December 2017.

  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission permit for Reaches 2 & 3 construction - Received April 2019.

Reaches 2 & 3 Construction:

  • Valley Water anticipates full acquisition of all Reach 2 & 3 right-of-way by December 2019.

  • USACE anticipates advertising for Reach 2 & 3 construction Fall 2019.

  • USACE anticipates beginning construction in Spring 2020.


Completed Milestones:

  • Feasibility Study Phase: September 2005 to July 2016.

  • Environmental Documents: Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was certified by the Valley Water Board on March 22, 2016. Conservancy adopted the EIR as a responsible agency on March 22, 2018.  The USACE and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services issued their Records of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in July 8, 2016 and April 6, 2017 respectively.  The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority adopted the EIR as a responsible agency on April 11, 2018.

  • Preliminary Engineering and Design Phase (including permitting): July 2016 to February 2019.

  • Construction Phase: February 2019 to ongoing.

  • Funding: The Shoreline Project is a strongly supported project as evidenced by the signing of the USACE Chief’s Report in December 2015, with a total Feasibility Study cost of $22 million; followed by its authorization for design and construction in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act in December 2016, with a total design and construction cost of $177.2 million. Subsequently, in July 2018, the Shoreline Project was awarded $177.2 million under the USACE Fiscal Year 2018 Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Bill to complete project design and begin construction. The local sponsors (Valley Water and Conservancy) total cost share of this amount is $104 M which will need to be reimbursed to the USACE in a timely manner. In addition to the $15 million provided by Safe, Clean Water, the Project has received a San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority grant in the amount of $61 million to fund a portion of the local sponsors total cost share of $104 million and is also eligible for a State Subvention reimbursement grant.


Economic Impact Areas (EIA) 1-10

EIAs 1-10 includes the shoreline areas located between San Francisquito Creek and the Lower Guadalupe River and includes the communities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, NASA, Sunnyvale, San José, and Santa Clara. In November 2019, USACE received $500,000 to begin the next feasibility study phase.

Current activities:

  • EIAs 1-10: Valley Water staff is meeting with USACE and key stakeholders in preparation to sign a Feasibility Cost Share Agreement in September 2019 with the USACE on the next study phase. The Coastal Conservancy has expressed continued interest to participate in the next study phase. In addition, two communities have expressed interest to be included in the next USACE study phase– Cities of Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.
  • EIAs 4 and 5: Valley Water is coordinating with the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (SBSPRP) team to construct the 1% coastal flood risk management levee in EIAs 4 and 5 (Mountain View EIAs).

  • EIA 10: Valley Water is working with the SBSPRP team to plan flood risk management efforts in EIA 10 (San José/Santa Clara and Pond A8 area).

Completed milestones:

  • Valley Water’s Preliminary Feasibility Study: Began in June 2015 and completed and finalized in March 2017. The preliminary study’s goal was to identify a preliminary 1% coastal flood risk management alignment with related benefits and costs for the EIAs 1-10 coastal area to aid in determining the Valley Water’s next study phase or phases and to identify potential study partnership opportunities. The preliminary alignment was identified and used to move forward with conducting the preliminary feasibility study analysis. The City of Palo Alto, City of Mountain View, City of Sunnyvale, City of San José, NASA Moffett Field, US Fish and Wildlife Service, State Coastal Conservancy and Mid-Peninsula Open Space Authority were all consulted in the identification of the preliminary alignment.

Updated August 2019

For more information:

Reports & Documents

Project Fact Sheets

Economic Impact Area 11

Appendix A: NEPA/CEQA Supporting Documents 

Appendix B: Supporting Planning and Environmental 

Documentation and Information (Appendix B1-B6 and Appendix B7-B12

Appendix C: Economics 

Appendix D: Hydrology and Hydraulics 

Appendix E1: Civil Design and Cost Engineering 

Appendix E2: Basis of Cost Estimate Memorandum 

Appendix F: Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan for Ecosystem Restoration 

Appendix G: Geotechnical Engineering 

Appendix H: Real Estate 

Appendix I: Public Comments 

Appendix J: Support Letters 

Errata to Final EIR + CEQA Summary 020916

Economic Impact Areas 1-10

  • The Preliminary Feasibility Study for EIAs 1-10 can be downloaded from the following links:

Executive Summary

Final Evaluation Report

Appendix 1: Long Wave Modeling Report

Appendix 2:  Statistic Analysis of Water Surface Elevation

Appendix 3: Coastal Storm Damage Risk Analysis 

Appendix 4: Hydraulic Analysis

For further information, please see

Last updated: August 2019

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program 

  1. Provide portion of the local share of funding for planning and design phases for the former salt production ponds and Santa Clara County shoreline area.

  2. Provide portion of the local share of funding toward estimated cost of initial project phase (EIA 11).


  • Protects more than 1,000 structures and 100 non-residential structures (EIA 11)

  • Provides planning and design to protect nearly 4,700 acres and more than 5,000 structures, including roads, highways, parks, airports and sewage treatment plants in all of Santa Clara County

  • Allows for the restoration of 2,900 acres of tidal marsh and related habitats (EIA 11)

  • Provides educational, recreational, and public access opportunities

Geographic Area of Benefit

Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale 

History & Background

Flooding History and Project Background

This project stems from the 2003 acquisition of thousands of acres of former South Bay salt production ponds, purchased for restoration with combined public and private funding. The South Bay Shoreline Protection Project is an important component of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, a large, multi-agency effort to restore 16,500 acres of tidal wetlands which involves all South Bay cities that meet the San Francisco Bay. Without incorporating flood protection measures, proposed recreational use and environmental restoration is likely to reduce the effectiveness of existing shoreline levees formerly maintained for salt production. Project E7 would upgrade levees to protect Silicon Valley’s “Golden Triangle,” bounded by Highways 101, 237 and 880, and extending north into the Baylands of Milpitas. Multiple flood events since the mid-1990s have damaged business operations in this area, now home to major high-tech corporations including Intel, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and others. The project would also protect Alviso neighborhoods, as well as important infrastructure such as airports and sewage treatment plants.

The existing multi-agency partnerships for the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration project and the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study ensure that all goals for this largest wetland restoration on the West Coast will be incorporated. The Safe, Clean Water measure provides a share of the total funding needed for planning and design phases for the full shoreline project area. It also provides the funding needed to purchase lands, easements and rights-of-way as necessary to construct improvements in EIA 11, and a share of the construction costs for that portion of the project.

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 District website.