Definitions

Guadalupe River

Guadalupe River (California)

The Guadalupe River is a short river in California that runs from the Santa Cruz Mountains flowing north through San Jose, California, and emptying into the San Francisco Bay at Alviso. It is located in the Guadalupe Watershed, which is owned and managed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Running generally parallel to the river is the Silver Creek Fault.

Much of the river is surrounded by parks. The river flows through Almaden Quicksilver County Park, home to former mercury mines dating back to when the area was governed by Mexico. The entire downtown stretch, from Interstate 280 to Interstate 880, is part of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, one of the largest urban parks currently in development in the United States. Also, the Guadalupe River Trail runs along of the river bank.

History

In 1777, Mission Santa Clara de Thamien and el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe were founded along the river, but both had to be moved away from the river because of mosquitos in the summertime and flooding during the winter.

The historic De Anza Expedition covered much of Santa Clara County, traversing western areas en route from Monterey to San Francisco, and traveling around the south end of San Francisco Bay and thence through the eastern portions of the county on the return trip after exploration of parts of the East Bay. Juan Bautista de Anza camped along the banks of the Guadalupe River on his 1776 expedition. Specifically he used Expedition Camp 97 on March 30, 1776 near the present–day site of Agnews State Hospital (Santa Clara County, 2001)

On July 9, 2005, the fossilized bones of a mammoth were discovered in the Lower Guadalupe River near the Trimble Road overcrossing. The discovery was made by San Jose resident and Guadalupe-Coyote Resource Conservation District volunteer Roger Castillo while walking his dog.

Flooding

The river occasionally floods in downtown San Jose, south of downtown, as well as in Alviso. Flooding prompted President Clinton to declare a National Disaster Area in 1995 and 1997. In March 1995, flooding of this river around the San Jose Arena caused the cancellation of a San Jose Sharks game, the only rainout in the history of the National Hockey League.

In response to this flooding, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) has launched a series of flood protection projects along the Guadalupe River to ensure that residential and commercial areas near the river are protected from 100-year floods (link?). The projects that the SCVWD has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to completed along the Guadalupe River (as of 2008) include:

In Spring 2008, the SCVWD will have its groundbreaking ceremony and begin work on the Upper Guadalupe Flood Protection Project spanning from highway 280 to Blossom Hill Road.

A major flood control project, designed to control a 100-year flood, was completed in December, 2004. The greatest Guadalupe River flood on record occurred in 1955 and was part of the legendary Christmas Week Floods when the Guadalupe River flooded .

Water quality

The Guadalupe Watershed was an area of intense activity during the California Gold Rush, with the quicksilver mines within Santa Clara County supporting the gold refinement process.{Crimp, 1976) Thus, mercury toxicity and its effects on surrounding humans and wildlife is a major concern for the area. Because mercury is an effective magnet for gold, miners during the Gold Rush would regularly line their sluices with Mercury to amalgamate the gold. An estimated 6,500 tons of mercury was lost in the system of creeks and rivers along the coast between 1850 and 1920, and is currently being detected today in the local streams, animal life, and riverbeds of these affected tributaries.

See also

References

External links

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