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San Francisquito Creek Web site
Welcome to the San Francisquito Creek website. This text-only page summarizes the information about the Creek and the data available on this website. It is a condensed form of the website, please visit the individual pages for details and data download.
The site is designed for ease of use and navigation with the following page layout:
Welcome to the San Francisquito Creek Project Web site. This Web site aims to provide information and data to inform the public and decisionmakers about issues concerning the creek and the possible trade-offs that might be necessary in reaching mutually agreeable solutions to the complex problems. The primary goal of this Web site is to facilitate the dissemination of data and information from research, monitoring and environmental-management activities concerning San Francisquito Creek. We hope to ensure that all interested users (such as scientists, engineers, resource managers, local and regional governmental agencies, developers, and the public) have quick and easy access to a wide range of data, geographic information system (GIS) products, and general information.
Because San Francisquito Creek flows through two counties, five municipalities and numerous habitats, it is deeply entwined in both political and environmental issues. The San Francisquito Creek Project is a project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that engages and collaborates with other organizations to work on these issues. The USGS will maintain this Web site and provide digital data and educational tools to facilitate the public's involvement in addressing issues of the creek and improving the decisionmaking processes.
Thousands of communities in small watersheds across the nation are or will be facing issues of flooding, water supply, habitat restoration, aging dams, and stream impairment by sediment and pollutants from non-point sources. There is an immediate need to develop a decision support system based on sound science that incorporates community values that will help to provide for informed decisions on these issues. These issues are vexing decisionmakers in the San Francisquito Creek watershed, California.
The San Francisquito Creek watershed encompasses 45 mi2 and includes a wide diversity of natural habitats and land use types. San Francisquito Creek is the last riparian free-flowing urban creek on the southern Peninsula of San Francisco Bay.
The creek begins as overflow from the Searsville Lake dam built in 1892 in Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which are part of the larger Coast Range. The creek flows generally northeastward for 14 miles from its source to its terminus in San Francisco Bay. Elevations range from approximately 762 meters (2,500 feet) to sea level. Rural areas and open space characterize the upper part of the watershed, which is hilly and rugged. In its lower reaches, the creek courses through densely populated cities located in relatively flat-lying areas. In places, the creek has carved a deep arroyo, with banks as high as 30 feet.
San Francisquito Creek is the boundary between Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and flows through parts of five municipalities-Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Woodside. It empties into San Francisco Bay at the city of East Palo Alto. The San Francisquito Creek Watershed (the area of drainage) covers five USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles: Woodside, Palo Alto, Mountain View, La Honda, and Mindego Hill.
Here is an index of the individual quads that cover study area:
This section allows users easy access to a wide range of high-quality digital data and GIS products covering the study area. Examples of GIS products include the following map layers: hydrography, roads, vegetation cover, forests, timber, and soils. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides four different digital cartographic products: Digital Raster Graphic (DRG), Digital Line Graph (DLG), Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ).
The PowerPoint Show is an introductory presentation to describe the relation among the USGS, geographic information system (GIS), and the San Francisquito Creek.
USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to:
GIS is an analytical tool that allows us to identify the spatial relationships between map features. GIS provides the opportunity to display different data layers for manipulation and analysis because the locations on the maps are referenced to the Earth’s surface. GIS is capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information. GIS provides the opportunity to look at and understand problems in new ways. In brief, GIS is any tool that helps you to analyze and understand information about the Earth.
GIS is a tool that can help us answer these 5 questions:
San Francisquito Creek is one of the last unchannelized urban streams in the Bay Area. The creek is a vital natural resource to the communities that border it and to the larger ecological environment. Because the creek flows through two counties and five municipalities, it is deeply entwined in both political complexity and watershed management issues. Issues of jurisdiction, flooding, sedimentation, and vegetation need to be evaluated.
Watershed Management Issues
Projects and organizations were created to raise awareness of the San Francisquito Creek watershed through community education and outreach activities and strengthen the community's connection to the creek. This creek has a long history of preservation efforts. Restoration activities include creek clean-ups, exotic-species removal, and planting watershed-specific species. Organizations such as the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and San Francisquito Watershed Council were created to bring together people and groups who are interested in the protection and restoration of the creek. The San Francisquito Creek Stewardship Project, which is sponsored by the San Francisquito Watershed Council, provides classroom presentations, school field trips, and community-service opportunities for businesses throughout the Peninsula and South Bay.
Links to other San Francisquito Creek web pages, data, articles, etc.
All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.
Highlighted and/or underlined terms are clickable and will take you to a new page. The footer symbol () marks links to external web sites and selected pages that will open in a new window, with a few exceptions. Exceptions include but are not limited to the following: no footer symbol () is placed before images and the signatures that have links to external web sites. External links will open in a new window.
Thank you for visiting the San Francisquito Creek Project website. The USGS hope you find this website helpful and easy to use.
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