Resilient Silicon Valley is a project of the San Francisco Estuary Institute to build the science-based framework needed to guide the design of and investments in regional ecosystem health. Drawing on resilience science, regional data, and local expertise, we are developing the vision and tools that will allow stakeholders in the region to ensure that local actions contribute toward the creation of a high-functioning and resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem. The Resilient Silicon Valley project harnesses SFEI’s extensive regional expertise, data, and partnerships needed to guide investments in regional ecosystem health.
In collaboration with Google’s new Ecology Program, SFEI has created the Landscape Resilience Framework; a practical guide that identifies the core elements needed for building ecological resilience across landscapes. Building on this foundation, two projects are applying the framework in the region. In A Vision for a Resilient Silicon Valley, SFEI and a team of regional science advisors develop a vision for landscape resilience across streams, hills, baylands, and urban areas of Silicon Valley. In Re-Oaking Silicon Valley, we explore how re-incorporating elements of oak woodland ecosystems into cities could enhance biodiversity, benefit people, and contribute to regional resilience. The visions developed through these projects will provide a strategic basis to inform local design and planning efforts and allocate resources that support a holistic vision of healthy ecosystems. We hope these projects will ultimately provide shared guidance across Silicon Valley for those looking to contribute to regional resilience.
Related Projects, News, and Events:
This report synthesizes historical evidence into a picture of how Coyote Creek looked and functioned before intensive modification. Prepared for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the report helps explain contemporary landscape conditions and identify options for watershed restoration, natural flood protection, and integrated water management.
This study produced GIS layers and a report describing historical habitats in the Guadalupe, West Valley, and Lower Peninsula Watershed Management Areas of Santa Clara County (the valley floor from Palo Alto to San Jose).
Photo by Shira Bezalel
“Re-Oaking” is an approach to reintegrating oaks and other native trees within the developed California landscape to provide a range of ecosystem services. The concept has emerged from SFEI's research into the distribution and characteristics of California's former valley oak savannas -- a distinctive, widespread habitat that was mostly lost a century ago. Now valley oaks and other native trees are being recognized for the benefits they did -- and could again – provide, as communities design the ecologically healthy and resilient landscapes of the future.
This study assesses historical conditions and landscape change in the southern part of the Santa Clara Valley. It is designed to inform strategies for natural flood protection, habitat conservation and restoration, and other management challenges.
This dataset represents a reconstruction of the historical landscape patterns, including channel and habitat distribution, of the Santa Clara Valley and adjacent baylands