2040 Vision

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Strategic Framework

For the last 25 years, we have been successfully helping people in the West build the communities they want to live in while preserving the West that brought them here. Discover our vision for our next 25 years. 

Our Letter to You

Read our 2040 Vision 

Arizona Public Media

 51 Tucson Mountain Park view toward Santa Ritas - Brian P   
I-11 Corridor Initiative

In a recent PBS piece, our Sun Corridor Program Director talks about Sonoran's involvement in the project's development. He goes on to discuss the Environmental Impact Statement process and the critical concept of integrated infrastructure. As always, it is vitally important that stakeholders work together from start to finish.

Watch the Feature


EPA Clean Power Plan

The Sonoran Institute prepares a statement on today's release of the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Rules in order to discuss the platform for our study to be released next month. We will reveal how large-scale solar can do far more in meeting the EPA's emissions targets than originally envisioned in the rule.

Read the News Release

Contacts - Santa Cruz River

Claire Zugmeyer

520.290.0828 x 1143

Ian Dowdy
Sun Corridor Program Director

602.393.4310 x 308

Santa Cruz River Watershed


Santa Cruz River Initiative Overview


View a complete list of publications.

Santa Cruz River Featured Video

Reclaiming an Oasis in the Desert
Tony Paniagua, Arizona Public Media 

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Home Where We Work Arizona Santa Cruz River

Santa Cruz River Initiative 

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The Santa Cruz River has drawn people to its life-giving waters for over 12,000 years. Rain coursing down mountainsides replenishes the river as it flows over 200 miles through desert communities in southeastern Arizona, northwestern Mexico, and the Tohono O’odham Nation. 

Modern society has stressed this water system, and much of the Santa Cruz River is dry.  A few of the sections of the Santa Cruz with year-round water depend primarily on treated wastewater, or effl uent, released into the riverbed. This practice supports wetland habitats that are not only becoming increasingly rare but are some of last living examples of the river heritage that long supported people in the region.

thumb_SCRInitiativeThe Santa Cruz River Initiative is focused on restoration of watershed health with an aim to improve local water supplies. Our overall goals are to: secure river fl ows, improve water quality, protect and raise groundwater levels, reduce water runoff by enhancing infitration, and bring the successful model to other communities. Read more in the Santa Cruz River Initiative summary.


 Learn more about the Initiative's Activities:

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News & Updates

SOSCR Updated 2015Conservation Inventory July 17, 2015 Now available is the first update to the State of the Santa Cruz River Conservation Inventory identifying more than 50 additional efforts focused on cultural resources. Learn more about this publication.

LivingRiverFactsheet2015 CoverLiving River Project Status - July 15, 2015 What are we learning about the Lower Santa Cruz River? Read the new factsheet OR learn more about the project.

2015 Living River Celebration FlyerLiving River Celebration - June 19, 2015 Pick up the new Living River report, view the Living River of Words Youth Art and Poetry exhibit, and learn about what other organizations are doing in the region. Hope to see you there! Learn more

On the Radio! - June 10, 2015 Zach Ziegler of AZPM did a story on the new Living River report discussing the changes along the Lower Santa Cruz River. Miss the story? Listen online

LR14 Cover smlSecond Living River report released - June 8, 2015 Read about the intial changes and improvements along the river in the 2014 Water Year. Learn more

Read more: News & Updates


Additional Information

A Binational River - The Santa Cruz River has the unique designation of being the only river to cross the border with Mexico twice. Learn more about the Santa Cruz River Watershed.

In the Media - Santa Cruz River related work completed by Sonoran Institute and partners has been lucky to get some good media coverage. Learn more about media stories featuring our work.

Ecosystem services - The Santa Cruz River offers numerous benefits to local communities. Learn more about Ecosystem Services.

Project Support - We are fortunate to work with and receive support from so many! Learn more about our Partners and Funders.