Historical Ecology of Lower San Francisquito Creek
The primary goal of this project was to produce GIS layers and georeferenced imagery for use by the planning and engineering team of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority. The memo serves as metadata for the GIS, helping explain the interpretation of original historical documents.
The complex stream and floodplain changes over the past 150 years are relevant to contemporary management. The timeseries mapping presented here documents the natural location of floodplain elements such as willow groves, tidal marsh, and tidal channels. Elements of these features might be considered for natural flood storage capacity and ecosystem benefits. Of interest may also be the history of sedimentation in the lower stream reaches, where sediment aggradation has tended to exceed the stream's ability to maintain a channel. Apparent management of this sediment by local farmers to raise marsh levels may be a practice of contemporary relevance, given concerns about shoreline erosion and limited sediment supply. Rates of shoreline change, which have been dynamic and variable along the shore (with a recent erosive trend), are also an area of potential further exploration.
Programs and Focus Areas:
Resilient Landscapes Program
Watershed Science & Management