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Our Work, By The Numbers

You don’t last as a conservation non-profit 501(c)(3) for over 30 years without making a significant positive impact on rivers, landscapes, ecosystems and communities. At the Sonoran Institute, we are accountable for success. Here are the communities we’ve worked with over the past three decades—and the results:

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Local Investment


Acres conserved and protected


Community leaders/activists trained


Native tree seedlings planted in the Colorado River Delta region.

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Hover over the purple points for story highlights!

Our Programs

Current community-based conservation programs are focused on water in the Colorado River Basin.
Growing Water Smart

A more resilient water future is possible from the Colorado River headwaters all the way to the delta. Our workshops bring leaders together to collaborate, and each team leaves with an action plan to meet local and regional goals.

Colorado River Delta

A Resource Worth Saving The Colorado River once formed a lush delta teeming with birds and aquatic species as it flowed into the Gulf of California. Historically, it covered more than 3,000 square… MORE ›

Santa Cruz River

The Santa Cruz River has provided life-sustaining water for more than 12,000 years. Climate aridification and a century of overuse has negatively impacted the river, however we can continue to restore its vitality.

Featured Items

We Are One – 2022 Annual Report
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Somos Uno
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A Living River: Santa Cruz River Conditions Downtown Tucson to Marana 2023
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Our Success Stories

We’re more than conservationists. We work to protect the environments, economies and communities of the West through unique programs and initiatives.

Santa Cruz River: Paradise Lost, Paradise Reborn, Will it be Lost Again?

The federally endangered Gila topminnow had not been seen in its native habitat, the Santa Cruz River, for more than a decade. Then, in December 2015 they came back.

Restoring the Colorado River Estuary

Innovative. Collaborative. Turning the impossible to possible. That is what we are doing in the Colorado River Delta and our newest effort in the estuary—one of the most productive and endangered ecosystems on earth—combines these themes.

Laguna Grande, a Comeback Story

“We will be able to take what we have learned in Laguna Grande and apply it on a larger scale, throughout the entire river corridor and beyond.” —Karen Schlatter, associate director of the… MORE ›


Thriving, Resilient, in Balance

We are making sure that water flows in the rivers of the West for generations to come.
Your commitment to protecting natural resources makes incredible conservation happen.

Become a Sonoran Sustainer today