Reps. Lofgren and Honda Secure Needed Funding for Silicon Valley Water Projects

November 18, 2003
Press Release

Silicon Valley Legislators Work Together to Obtain $18.5 Million for Santa Clara Watershed

Media Contact: Christine Glunz, 202.225.3072

Washington, DC — Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), and Mike Honda (D-Campbell) announced that they have secured $18.5 million in federal funding for a host of important water projects in Silicon Valley in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY04 (H.R. 2754).   These projects are designed to control flooding, protect sensitive habitat and wildlife while allowing residents to enjoy local natural resources within the Santa Clara Valley watershed.  In the last several years, flooding along the Guadalupe River and other local creeks has caused extensive damage to area homes, schools, businesses and highways.  o:p>

“I am proud that Congresswoman Lofgren and I were able to secure the funding needed to help protect Silicon Valley families, homes and businesses from the threat of severe flooding that has caused so much damage over the past several years,” said Honda.  “Making sure that we commit adequate resources to protect our rivers and streams while enabling our communities to enjoy these natural treasures has long been a top priority of ours, and this legislation helps ensure that the federal government meets its obligation.”

“We have seen the unfortunate reality of tragedy and destruction caused by past flooding in our area,” said Lofgren.  “Protecting our natural resources and continuing to safeguard our communities from damage in the future, has been a priority for Rep. Honda and I over the years.  Securing this funding today furthers our efforts to protect our local communities, businesses, and thousands of jobs from the devastating effects of future flooding.”

In the mid 1990's, severe flooding inundated more than 300 buildings causing an estimated $6 million in damage.  The area remains vulnerable to severe flooding until these flood control projects are completed.  Today’s legislation provides $14 million in funding to keep the $226.8 million Guadalupe River flood protection and environmental restoration project on track.  The area protected by this project extends from Interstate 880 to Interstate 280‹ an area that suffered more than $10 million in flood damage to 300 homes, businesses and roadways in 1995.  The $14 million secured by Honda and Lofgren will allow the flood protection portions of this important project to be completed on schedule by 2004.

The bill also includes $150,000 in funding for preconstruction engineering and design for the Upper Guadalupe River flood protection project that will protect more than 2,300 acres of land and more than 7,500 homes, schools and businesses in the heart of San Jose from an estimated $280 million in damages that could result from flooding.  Once completed, this project will enable state and local agencies to safely build hiking and biking trails that connect from the Almaden Valley area to downtown San Jose.  The project will also protect the endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead trout by enabling them to travel upstream from the San Francisco Bay to their natural spawning grounds and by creating shaded areas to protect young fish from dying due to overexposure to direct sunlight. 

Other funded projects for fiscal year 2004 include:

1.         Upper Penitencia Creek flood protection project ($460,000)

2.         Llagas Creek flood protection project ($250,000)

3.         Coyote Creek and Berryessa Creek flood protection project ($250,000)

4.         San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse project ($3 million)

6.         San Francisquito Creek Watershed Study ($100,000)

7.         Pajaro River Watershed Study ($100,000)

8.         South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study ($100,000)

9.         Thompson Creek Restoration Project ($100,000)