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Release the Beaver, Restore the Pantano!

Water flows at the confluence of the Tanque Verde and Pantano rivers. Art by Dennis Caldwell That’s right, you heard it here first. WMG’s doing the groundwork today and the planning for tomorrow to restore the flow to the Tanque Verde Creek and the Pantano River to bring back the beavers! Will you make a donation today to help us reach our summer goal and fund our water-conserving, river-restoring work? We have $20,000 left to raise to reach our $75,000 summer goal.  

In our 50-year plan, by 2045, the lower Tanque Verde Creek has year-round, meandering flow that feeds a wetland with tall stands of riparian grasses, alive with the sounds of native frogs and toads. Regular flow invites native fish species, the Gila topminnow and Gila chub, to return as well as the illustrious American beaver. The reintroduced beavers slow the flow with their low mud-packed leaf dams, creating a rich and diverse riparian habitat. Seasonal flows of the Pantano River connect populations of native fish from Ciénega Creek to Tanque Verde Creek. The extensive floodplain absorbs large floods and increases recharge, supporting an extensive mesquite forest that is home to an abundance of wildlife and provides endless recreation opportunities for Tucson families.

We’re out in the field every week installing projects and leading workshop to bring this vision to reality. Through the River Run Network, we’re working with homeowners throughout the Tanque Verde and Pantano watersheds to harvest rainwater, recharge groundwater, and increase native habitat. Just last week we installed a series of one-rock dams and water harvesting basins at a family’s home right near the Tanque Verde and Pantano confluence.

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We’re thrilled to work with each of you to be stewards of our rivers, either through projects at your home, by learning through creek walks and workshops, or helping to monitor river flow and groundwater levels through our citizen science monitoring program.

Let’s do it for the Tanque Verde and Pantano, to secure our water future!