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Our Approach

The County’s environmental policies and programs protect, enhance, and restore natural resources, collaboratively with public and private partners, and aims to:

  • Reduce the cumulative impacts of multiple environmental hazards, including air and water pollution and toxic material exposure on all County residents, especially historically marginalized communities and workers;

  • Expand, preserve, protect, and enhance the diversity and size of ecosystems and habitats across the County;

  • Create the conditions for a resilient, equitable, and thriving agricultural economy that also provides environmental benefits, such as flood mitigation, habitat conservation, and carbon sequestration;

  • Manage a flourishing and connected network of regional parks and trails where exceptional visitor experiences enrich the human spirit and provide all people the opportunity to connect with the County’s protected natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources; and

  • Protect and enhance watersheds to preserve beneficial uses of Santa Clara Valley creeks and rivers.

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The County is already addressing these issues through the development and implementation of the

  • Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan,

  • Santa Clara County Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan,

  • Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan,

  • Ecology-Based Tree Management Guide and a County Tree Inventory,

  • Santa Clara Countywide Trails Prioritization and Gaps Analysis,

  • Santa Clara County Parks Strategic Plan, and

  • Sustainable Landscaping Policy.

Current Efforts

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Santa Clara County’s natural environment and habitats vary widely from urban Silicon Valley to the rural agricultural areas and the protected open space and natural resources of Santa Clara Valley. Santa Clara County has a rich agricultural history with over 24,000 acres of farmland that generates 8,100 jobs and provides local food security and environmental benefits. However, in the past 30 years alone, the County has lost 21,171 acres of its farmland and rangeland to development and more areas are at risk of conversion (bit.ly/sccagplan). Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara Valley are also home to a rich diversity of species and habitats, but new development pressure can reduce the quality, quantity, and connectiveness of habitat areas. Our County has the opportunity to manage growth while retaining agricultural viability and areas that provide high-quality spaces for habitat and people.

The Issue

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Protects, enhances, and restores natural resources and habitats

and reduces the cumulative impacts of environmental hazards.

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Natural Resources and the Environment

Goal #3. Air and Water Resources

Maintain a healthy environment for all residents and living creatures.

Goal #4. Natural Lands and Land Use

Enhance and protect natural and working lands so that they provide a range of social,

environmental, economic, and health benefits for County residents and businesses.

A preview of the current numbers...