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D3: Grants and Partnerships to Restore Wildlife Habitat *

About This Project

This project provides grants and partnerships for activities such as developing Stream Corridor Priority Plans; creating or enhancing wetland, riparian and tidal marsh habitat; protecting special status species; removing fish migration barriers; installing fish ladders; removing non-native, invasive plant species; and planting native species. The project includes 7 grant cycles, 1 held approximately every other year during the 15-year duration of the Safe, Clean Water Program, as well as funding for partnerships that restore stream and wetland habitat and provide open space access. This project also funds work that provides access to creekside trails or trails that provide a significant link to the creekside trail network, for example, the possible construction of a bridge over Coyote Creek in the Rock Springs neighborhood.


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

South Valley Meadow Construction
On Target
Start FY 2014 / Finish FY 2028
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($24.1 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

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

KPI #1: Develop 5 Stream Corridor Priority Plans to prioritize stream restoration activities.

In Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), Valley Water analyzed existing and available information to assess which creeks would be most suitable for the first Stream Corridor Priority Plans (SCPPs). Candidate creeks were selected based on a qualitative assessment of opportunities for small-scale ecological projects along the creek. Creeks with good existing information rose to the top of a list of potential SCPPs. Valley Water assessed the following creeks as the highest -priority for developing SCPPs. 

  • Lower Peninsula Watershed - Stevens Creek 

  • Coyote Watershed - Coyote Creek (candidate reach is approx. Montague to Coyote Narrows) 

  • Guadalupe Watershed - Guadalupe River

  • Pajaro Watershed - Uvas Creek (downstream of Uvas Reservoir) 

  • West Valley Watershed - Saratoga Creek 

Additional high-priority creeks also include: San Francisquito, Upper Penitencia, Silver/Thompson, Los Gatos, Pajaro, and Permanente. Any of these creeks may be selected for SCPP development if higher priority creeks are ruled-out or postponed. Specific reaches to be included in the SCPPs will be determined independently, as individual plans are initiated. 

In FY18, Stevens Creek was identified as the first creek for which a SCPP would be developed. This work has been completed and can be viewed here

In FY19, management concurred that the criteria used under Project D2 to identify priority areas for revitalization of stream, upland and wetland habitat was consistent with the approach used for SCPPs and would be incorporated into all future SCPPs. The criteria to be incorporated into the SCPPs for selecting locations for invasive or non-native vegetation removal and revegetation installation require a minimum of at least one of the following characteristics:

  1. Impacts sensitive plant or animal communities, especially habitats for state or federally listed species;

  2. Involves flood protection, where invasive removal may increase hydraulic flow conveyance, or is recommended by US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) for levee stability;

  3. Grows adjacent to, but not within, Valley Water mitigation or revegetation sites;

  4. Revitalizes the functionality of riparian and tidal habitat;

  5. Improves wildlife corridors by increasing connectivity of habitat, especially along the Coyote Creek watershed to improve the connectivity between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range; and

  6. Upper watershed habitats, where invasive vegetation has potential to migrate downstream and greater impacts due to proximity to sensitive communities and wildlife corridors.

KPI #2: Provide 7 grant cycles and additional partnerships for $21 million that follow pre-established criteria related to the creation or restoration of wetlands, riparian habitat and favorable stream conditions for fisheries and wildlife, and providing new public access to trails.

 To receive notifications for all of Valley Water's upcoming grant cycles, please email [email protected]

Trails and Open Space Grants

The FY19 Provide Access to Trails & Open Space grant cycle opened on Nov. 13, 2018 and closed on Feb. 15, 2019. On April 23, 2019, the Board awarded a total of $329,906 for three (3) D3 Access to Trails and Open Space projects. Valley Water received four (4) grant applications from Nov. 13, 2018 through Feb. 15, 2019. Of the applications received, the three recommended and awarded funding were:

  • City of Milpitas- Milpitas Lower Penitencia Creek Pedestrian Bridge Project ($60,000)
  • City of Morgan Hill- Madrone Channel Improvements Project ($120,000)
  • Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District: Beatty Trail Connection Project ($149,906) 

Wildlife Habitat Restoration Grants

We are not currently accepting grant applications for Wildlife Habitat Restoration Grants. For information on how to apply, visit

The Board of Directors approved following 7 new Restoration grant projects on October 23, 2018: 

  • Friends of Stevens Creek Trail - Stevens Creek Steelhead Passage Improvement Project ($120,000)
  • San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory - Establishing Forster's Tern Nesting Sites Project ($131,000)
  • Grassroots Ecology - Adobe Creek Corridor Extension Project ($120,602)
  • Grassroots Ecology - Matadero Creek Project ($49,356)
  • San Jose Conservation Corp - Coyote Creek Invasive Plant Removal and Disadvantaged Youth Career Path Project ($389,024)
  • Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency - Pacheco Creek Preserve Stream and Riparian Project ($400,000)
  • South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition - Los Gatos Creek Trestle Area Restoration Project ($239,938)


Wildlife Habitat Restoration Pilot Mini-Grants Program

The following mini-grants were awarded in FY19:

  • Bay Area Older Adults - Watershed Appreciation Program ($5,000)

  • Grassroots Ecology- Peninsula/ South Bay Watershed Forum ($5,000)

  • Living Classroom- Equity in Environmental Literacy ($5,000)

  • Bay Area Older Adults- Watersheds & Wildlife Education Walks ($5,000)

  • Irvington High School- Sustainable California Initiative Project ($3,230.54, to be executed during FY20) 

  • Science from Scientists- ECOAdventures Vacation Camp ($5,000, cancelled) 



In FY19, Valley Water established one (1) Wildlife Restoration Partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) in the amount of $50,000. The project will support expansion of SCCOE's Education Outreach Program and environmental education programming to reach more students, specifically in school districts that lack resources and opportunities to implement environmental education in their classrooms. 

Completed D3 Grant Projects in Q3 FY19:

There were no completed D3 grant projects during Q3 of FY19.

Updated November 2019 

For more information:

Stream Corridor Priority Plans

Grants and Partnerships

Environmental & Community Benefits

Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Develop 5 Stream Corridor Priority Plans to prioritize stream restoration activities.

  2. Provide 7 grant cycles and additional partnerships for $21 million that follow pre-established criteria related to the creation or restoration of wetlands, riparian habitat, and favorable stream conditions for fisheries and wildlife, and providing new public access to trails.


  • Enhances creek and bay ecosystems

  • Improves fish passage and habitat

  • Expands trail and open space access

  • Leverages community funding through grants

  • Increases collaborations and partnerships for stewardship activities with cities, the county, nonprofit organizations, schools and other stakeholders

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.