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News - Recovery Act Project Providing Jobs, Urban Renewal

Natural Resources Conservation Service - News Release

Recovery Act Project Providing Jobs, Urban Renewal

Project is investing $30 million into Santa Clara County’s economy

NRCS: Anita Brown (530) 792-5644
Water District: Marty Grimes (408) 265-2607, ex. 2881

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 7, 2011—The $30 million Lower Silver Creek Project, near downtown San Jose, Calif., is now 40 percent complete. The project not only provides an estimated 400 jobs to the local community but will also alleviate ongoing flooding and enhance water quality along approximately two miles of the creek.

The project led by the Santa Clara Valley Water District and slated to be completed by December 2013, is the largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Obama Administration created ARRA in 2009 to boost the economy, in part by funding watershed and flood prevention operations.

"The project is a win-win for the local economy and the environment," said Ed Burton, NRCS California state conservationist. "It is going to benefit the community with increased flood protection, improved riparian habitat and environmental benefits to the creek and ultimately San Francisco Bay."

This phase of the project builds upon $57 million in flood control and environmental enhancements on the downstream reaches of Lower Silver Creek completed by the water district in 2006. Over 250,000 people use the surrounding infrastructure, which has experienced significant flood events over the past 50 years.

"The water district is grateful for the stimulus funding that makes it possible to continue the urban flood protection work for this community. I am glad that we are currently on schedule to complete this work as planned in December 2013," said Dennis Cheong, Senior Project Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District.

The project includes a "green" design that adds vegetation, wetland habitat, aesthetics and recreational values to local neighborhoods. The Santa Clara Valley Water District is contracting with firms specializing in civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering and other specialties to complete the work.

"The environmental improvements to the creek, the public access and being removed from the flood hazard area will be permanent improvements for the community," said Juan Estrada a local community leader.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District and NRCS broke ground on the project two years ago. Construction work can only be done on the creek during summer months to protect fish habitat. Construction will wrap up October 15 this year and begin again next spring.

NOTE: Photos are available upon request.

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.


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