In the last century, California’s Santa Clara Valley has experienced an enormous growth in population from 100,000 in 1920 to an estimated 2 million in 2020. Unfortunately, mass human occupation in the valley has resulted in severe damage to the natural habitats of thousands of native species. The focus of this project are two anadromous species of fish in the Guadalupe River: Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. In recent years, fish populations across California have seen significant decline not only from human induced catastrophe, but also due to region wide drought, a loss of freshwater, and poor ocean conditions.
The Spartan ASV Team is an interdisciplinary group of twelve students across the mechanical, computer and electrical engineering departments at San Jose State University. Our team will develop a fully autonomous surface vehicle capable of photographing and documenting the GPS location of these endangered fish as they are encountered. This design will incorporate a multitude of sensors and microcontrollers to accomplish fully autonomous navigation in all river conditions.
The Spartan ASV Team has partnered with the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (SBCCC), a non-governmental organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of healthy waterways in the Santa Clara Valley. Every year during the spawning season, volunteers work tirelessly to document and count the number of fish returning. Reclaimed areas of the watershed are observed for activity and documented efforts are used for community outreach. The challenges faced by the SBCCC include the monitoring and preservation of waterways that cover an estimated 779 square miles of small creeks and rivers. In 2018 alone, more than 30 volunteers spent over 300 volunteer hours on such efforts.
With hard work, innovation, and passion for a drive to sustainability, this team can prevent two more species from being added to the list of the hundreds of others disappearing every month. It is our hope that you will join us in protecting both chinook salmon and steelhead trout from disappearing from our community forever by providing funding for the development of this project.
Please make your gift today by clicking one of the giving levels to the right!