Rain Garden Helps San Jose's Guadalupe River

By Mark Prado
Rain garden
This rain garden along Chynoweth Avenue in San Jose will not only slow traffic, but capture and filter stormwater runoff, fine sediment, and pollutants that used to flow into nearby Guadalupe River and then San Francisco Bay.
Photo courtesy City of San Jose.

As the rain arrives around the Bay Area, a project managed by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership will help keep sediment and pollutants from flowing into a San Jose creek.

Earlier this year a rain garden was built on along Chynoweth Avenue in San Jose. The garden serves to slow traffic by narrowing the street. It also soaks up rainwater that otherwise would fall on impervious concrete. The rain water would then pick up dirt as well as pollutants on the street and flow into the Guadalupe River and ultimately San Francisco Bay, damaging water quality. Such runoff is a problem recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

The San Jose Green Street Demonstration Project is one example of the dozens of on-the-ground projects that the Estuary Partnership is managing through the Integrated Regional Water Management program in partnership with municipalities like San Jose.

The Partnership’s work is guided by the development and implementation of the Estuary Blueprint, a vision for the estuary’s future. The partnership’s host entity is the Association of Bay Area Governments, which is staffed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

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