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D5: Ecological Data Collection and Analysis

This project creates a comprehensive watershed database that tracks stream ecosystem conditions helping the District, other County agencies and organizations make informed watershed and asset management decisions. This new information integrates and enhances the District’s stewardship actions through a standardized, repeatable and defensible approach that guides, organizes and integrates information on stream conditions.

This ecological monitoring and assessment is conducted on an ongoing basis and is shared with land use agencies, environmental resource groups, and the public to support efficient restoration decisions throughout the county.


  • Improves watershed and asset management decisions
  • Provides a systematic, scientific guide for decisions and actions to improve stream conditions
  • Supports effective design options for capital projects
  • Maximizes the impact of restoration dollars with more reliable data on countywide stream conditions

Project Status

(As of March 2017)

  • The first watershed assessments are completed for Coyote Creek, Guadalupe, upper Pajaro River, and lower San Francisco Bay peninsula creeks using the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) in partnership with the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI). Click below to read:

  • West Santa Clara Valley watersheds, including Sunnyvale, San Tomas Aquino, Saraoga, and Calabazas creeks will be assessed in 2017.
  • Go to EcoAtlas to see all CRAM results and more for creeks and river reaches, tidal marshes (estuarine wetlands), and other locations. Create site reports that include CRAM results using EcoAtlas tools to identify ecosystem conditions at locations of interest.

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Establish new or track existing ecological levels of service for streams in 5 watersheds
  2. Reassess streams in 5 watersheds to determine if ecological levels of service are maintained or improved.

 Graph of Percentage of Stream in Poor, Fair or Good Ecological Health_FY17


Priority D-200

Project Information

Project Start FY 2014
Project Finish FY 2028
Safe Clean Water
Program funding

$6.5 M**

(2015 Dollars)

**More financial information: 5-Year Implementation Plan, pages: 19-27
Status On Target
Location Countywide

For more information:

Related information: