Santa Cruz Watershed Gets New Restoration Plan

Santa Cruz River

Treated effluent discharge supports a riparian forest and diverse aquatic species along the Santa Cruz River near Sanders Road. Photo by Michael Bogan/University of Arizona.

In March 2022 the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative voted to adopt a new restoration plan. This is an exciting step forward in restoring formerly perennial rivers throughout Tucson and the southern Arizona region. With this new framework, conservation organizations can collaborate better to improve the health of the area’s rivers, streams, and springs. The plan also details ways to sustain water supplies moving forward, balancing the needs of humans and wildlife.

The plan was written by members of the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative and led by Catlow Shipek at Watershed Management Group. The Bureau of Reclamation funded the planning efforts.

For an interactive version of the plan, check out this storymap.

SCWC’s mission is to restore the watershed’s hydrological and ecological function. By fostering cooperation, the group enables leaders to make better management decisions.

Our work at Sky Island Alliance to survey and monitor upland springs with our Spring Seeker program is a key part of the new plan. We’re excited to help with this initiative.