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San Francisco Bay Delta

Coyote Creek Trash Reduction Project: Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities

Trash is a primary cause of water quality impairments in San Francisco Bay and the Regional Water Board has instituted trash reduction goals beginning with a reduction of 40% by 2014 and a goal of zero by 2022.  The project will improve water quality in Coyote Creek by addressing trash at its source: litter, illegal encampments and illegal dumping.  This project will engage the surrounding neighborhoods to prevent litter and eliminate illegal dumping sites. It will work with partners to enlist homeless individuals to form clean-up crews to make progress towards improving water quality and riparian habitat needed to support fish and wildlife.  The project’s results will help inform other cities of ways to reduce trash flowing from their streets, storm drains, and public spaces to San Francisco Bay.

Project Facts

Recipient: City of San Jose, Environmental Services Department
Funding: $680,000 (non-federal match = $262,867/leverage = $119,550)
Project Period: September 2011- June 2015
Partners: Downtown Streets Team, Destination Home, Santa Clara Valley Water District, eBay

Environmental Results Summary: Coyote Creek Trash Reduction Project: Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities

OUTPUTS (Activities, efforts, and/or work product during project period)

OUTCOMES (Environmental results)

(1-5 yrs)


Organize 48 environmental education, outreach events, and Creek and neighborhood cleanup events

Complete a minimum of 2 public art projects

Perform a minimum of 8 large scale illegal encampment cleanups and creek cleanups with professional workers at hotspot

Eliminate the four chronic dump sites within target area

Install surveillance camera at chronic dumpsites

Create anti-dumping webpage

Permanently house 50 homeless individuals that live in targeted reach of Coyote Creek 

Perform 14,300 hours of peer to peer outreach to homeless living in Coyote Creek and 39,000 hours of community services cleaning up litter and monitoring riparian area

Pre, midpoint and post program surveys of resident’s knowledge and attitudes towards Coyote Creek

Conduct 8 urban rapid trash assessments (URTA) and document change in volume of trash and appearance of Coyote Creek with URTA rating

Remove 80 tons of trash and debris from Coyote Creek via encampment cleanups

Remove 400 cubic yards of trash and debris from Coyote Creek during cleanup events

Program surveys indicate that:

  • 66% of residents are aware of Coyote Creek and its environmental significance;
  • 50% of residents report that the health of Coyote Creek is important to them;
  • 66% of residents are aware that their personal conduct can result in litter in Coyote Creek;
  • 33% of residents report participating in recreation that directly involves Coyote Creek riparian corridor;
  • 66% of residents in understand that litter and illegal dumping is harmful to personal well-being; and
  • 66% of community residents report that they feel they could safely visit the Coyote Corridor

Achieve zero trash discharge to Coyote Creek by 2022

Full List of Project Summaries