Hey Tucson! Do you know the Living River in our community? The Santa Cruz River is Tucson’s Living River! And, we’re celebrating the river on July 21 with the release of our newest report tracking the river’s health.
Maybe you’ve noticed the reduction in odors, clearer waters, and the large fish in the Santa Cruz River? These are all indicators that tell the successes happening every day on our Living River! So, how’d that all happen? What type of pants and animals live on the river? How is it that that “rotten egg” smell is less prevalent than in year’s past? The Living River event on July 21 will answer those questions and more!
So, please join us and our partners from Pima County on July 21 from 6-7pm at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center for a special Living River celebration and release of the new report! Refreshments will be provided and you can take home a free copy of the new report. In addition to showcasing the report, we will feature special guest speakers.
We look forward to seeing you there!
What is the “Living River project”?
The Living River project, a joint initiative of the Sonoran Institute and Pima County, is a baseline study on the Lower Santa Cruz River with inspiration from our years of research on the Upper Santa Cruz River. This particular project aims to assess the wetland conditions created and affected by effluent. Back in 2013, Pima County invested over $600 million to upgrade their water reclamation facilities. Since then, we’ve been strategically tracking the changes and improvements in the Santa Cruz River with respect to its native fish, wildlife, and the overall ability of the public to enjoy the river.
Our third annual report gauges the conditions of this valuable ecosystem and tracks the impacts of our community’s investments in this resource that we all enjoy. Additionally, the report provides information on a suite of indicators of our river’s health ranging from vegetation communities to fish species to water quality – come ask questions and get answers!
What’s Sonoran Institute doing?
The Sonoran Institute’s Santa Cruz River Initiative, which we’ve been working on since we were founded (that’s over 26 years!), is focused on restoration of watershed health with an aim to improve local water supplies. Our overall goals are to: secure river flows, improve water quality, protect and raise groundwater levels, reduce water runoff by enhancing infiltration, and bring the successful model to other communities. Our efforts on the Santa Cruz River are all a part of our passion to conserve and plan for Flourishing Landscapes in the West. From a dried riverbed to a thriving ecosystem and valued community amenity – the Santa Cruz River has become a model for using scarce water resources in innovative ways.