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

Celebration PosterLiving River Celebration - April 4, 2015 Join us and pick up your copy of the Living River report, view the finalists in the 2015 Living River of Words youth/art poetry context, and more. Learn more about the program and download the event flyer


Desert Leaf features Living River Project - March 2015 The latest issue of the Desert Leaf features an article about the Santa Cruz River and our Living River Project.  See page 18 of the online issue.

SCRRD logo 2014 Santa Cruz River Research Days 2015 -  March 26 and 27 The final program is now available! RSVP and learn more.


2015 C2E Grants - February 2015 C2E community grants for enhancement of washes and riparian areas in the Tucson area are now available.  Learn more about this opportunity.

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.