In 2002, the Program evaluated existing data sources and used a weight-of-evidence approach to identify and prioritize water bodies in the Santa Clara Basin that may be impacted by excessive sediment. As a result, four creeks and associated watershed areas were identified as high priority for further assessments. These include Stevens Creek, Upper Penitencia Creek, Saratoga Creek and a portion of Coyote Creek.
To date, the Program has completed conducting assessments in three of the four watershed areas identified as high priority. Assessments in Stevens and Upper Penitencia Creeks were completed in FY 2003-2004 and FY 2005-2006, respectively, using a Limiting Factors Analysis (LFA) approach. The LFA approach identifies factors that may be limiting the production of aquatic species in a water body. This process is intended to inform the Program and other applicable agencies on where future management activities should be focused to protect or restore aquatic species (i.e., steelhead and rainbow trout). To address the findings presented in the Upper Penitencia LFA Report, the Program completed an assessment of sediment sources within the Upper Penitencia Creek watershed during FY 2007-2008. A sediment management practices assessment of the Upper Penitencia Creek watershed was completed in FY 2008-2009. In addition, the Program completed an assessment and sediment impact analysis of the Saratoga Creek watershed during FY 2007-2008.
San Francisquito Creek Sediment TMDL
In response to a listing of impairment by sediment under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and a need to provide information for a TMDL assessment, two separate projects have been developed. These projects are the San Francisquito Creek Watershed Analysis and Sediment Reduction Plan, administered by the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority; and the Aquatic Habitat Assessment and Limiting Factors Analysis, managed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.