Just under a year ago, the City of Tucson opened year-round flow to another, lower section of the Santa Cruz as part of the larger Santa Cruz River Heritage Project seeking to restore the once-perennial river running through the center of Tucson. Dr. Michael Bogan, a stream ecologist here in SNRE, has been assisting the City by providing his expertise and monitoring restoration efforts. Wildlife is quickly returning to this lower section as lush vegetation once again begins to thrive in the riparian bed, and the section has become especially popular among Tucsonians for wildlife viewing and birding (read more about the recovery here).
Sediment buildup over the past several years, however, has put many homes and businesses in danger of flood damage in the event of flash floods. Now, the city hopes to remove the sediment without harming the wetland ecosystem that has developed. Dr. Bogan is providing his expertise to the City and surveying the riverbed for a path for the new channel to be created while harming as little of the newly developed ecosystem as possible.
Listen to the full report from KOLD news here.
Slideshow photo by Kees Streefkerk on Unsplash