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Cañada del Oro Floodplain Reclaimed!

2018 was a good year for river restoration, with WMG’s boots on the ground at four major sites including along Ciénega Creek, Tanque Verde Creek, Cañada del Oro River, and the Santa Cruz River. Thanks to a dynamic partnership with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, WMG’s river restoration team is planning and implementing restoration features to reclaim floodplains, re-establish native habitats, and recharge more water into the aquifer to support flowing rivers.Pima County and WMG work together to sink stormwater into the CDO floodplain.

River Restoration Biologist Trevor Hare led a team to restore 20 acres of floodplain habitat along the Cañada del Oro River floodplain on the Northwest side of Tucson. The first step was to excavate a series of large-scale basins that could harvest and infiltrate large amounts of stormwater and rainwater. Days after the basins were created, the site was hit by a major monsoon storm, and ended up capturing over 500,000 gallons of water! Right away we knew the basins worked well to slow, spread, and sink stormwater – a huge resource to support the riparian area.

Trevor worked with WMG’s field staff, volunteers, and the Arizona Conservation Corps to shape the earthworks, create spillways, and plant native riparian trees. This approach highlights our unique niche in restoration work – engaging the community through volunteer workshops and mentoring young professionals in the Conservation Corps.

River Run Network members can get involved in all aspects of river restoration – from helping with on-the-ground projects, river cleanups, and monitoring flow, to attending educational events. Not yet a member? Sign up at Watershedmg.org/RRN.