This study assesses historical conditions and landscape change in the southern part of the Santa Clara Valley. It is designed to inform strategies for natural flood protection, habitat conservation and restoration, and other management challenges. The project area is the valley floor of southern Santa Clara County (south of Morgan Hill) and northern San Benito County (the Soap Lake floodplain north of Shore Road) and includes the lower Uvas-Carnadero, Llagas and Pacheco creeks as well as the Pajaro River.

Along with research completed in the Coyote Creek Watershed and current research on western Santa Clara Valley, this project will provide comprehensive coverage of historical habitats for the entire Santa Clara County valley floor.

Project Status

Completed May 2008

Download the Report

Low resolution version

High resolution version

Download GIS Data

This dataset includes Santa Clara Valley and adjacent baylands
ESRI ArcMap 10 file geodatabase (.gdb) format
Historical Habitats, Channels and Distributaries. (15.1 MB)

The Santa Clara Valley Water District's Watching Our Watersheds (WOW) project has adapted Historical Ecology data into Google Earth (KMZ) format. An adapted version of SFEI's mapping of the Santa Clara Valley is available for download: Southern Santa Clara Valley Historical (4 Mb)

Programs and Focus Areas: 
Resilient Landscapes Program
Historical Ecology
Location Information