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Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities
Improving Water Quality in Coyote CreekClean Creeks, Healthy Communities logo
Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities is a four-year pilot project to improve water quality in Coyote Creek through reducing trash pollution. The project is taking a multidisciplinary approach to preventing trash pollution by targeting sources of trash from litter, illegal dumping, and homeless encampments. In addition the program aims to support neighborhood involvement and recreation in the creek, and sustain the reduction of trash in the creek by creating a connection with the surrounding community. The success of this pilot project will be ultimately measured by its ability to create a “tipping point” whereby the community actively supports the development of beneficial uses in their local riparian corridor and deters trash generating behaviors through passive and active monitoring.

Coyote Creek and Trash Pollution
Trash in Coyote CreekCoyote Creek is a beautiful natural waterway that runs through the heart of San José. However, within the project area, the creek is being vandalized and marred by trash from litter, illegal dumping, and the numerous homeless encampments. The trash pollution can be damaging to the creek as a habitat for fish and wildlife, and inhibiting its use for recreation and enjoyment.


Strategy
Coyote Creek after a litter cleanupThe four-year pilot program brings together an interdisciplinary partnership that will target improving creek health with a three-prong approach:
  • Support neighbors as creek stewards - Engaging area residents as creek stewards will help eliminate undesirable behaviors in the creek corridor and lead to a safer, healthier creek and community.
  • Engage and assist the homeless - Recruiting the homeless from the creek encampments into a creek cleanup program that provides incentives and assistance to the homeless to find permanent housing.
  • Deter dumping and litter - Eliminating illegal dumping and trash accumulation in the creek through a combination of monitoring, cleanup, and physical improvements.