Upper Penitencia Creek, on the eastern side of Santa Clara Valley, has locally significant potential for stream restoration and anadromous fish recovery. The Upper Penitencia Creek Historical Ecology Assessment documents aspects of Upper Penitencia Creek's hydrogeomorphology and riparian ecology prior to major Euro-American modification. It describes the historical (ca. 1850) channel alignment, dry season hydrology, and riparian corridor of the creek as interpreted from early maps, textual records, and photographs. It also explores the nature and timing of the diversion of Upper Penitencia into Coyote Creek.
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This report synthesizes historical evidence into a picture of how Coyote Creek looked and functioned before intensive modification. Prepared for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the report helps explain contemporary landscape conditions and identify options for watershed restoration, natural flood protection, and integrated water management.