2040 Vision

Stategic Framework Cover

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

2013 Annual Report - Connections


The Power of Connections

Connecting. It is what distinguishes our unique and successful approach to conservation and community development in the West.

Read more about our 2013 Annual Report

Home Where We Work Colorado River Delta Legacy Program Colorado River Delta Ecological Monitoring

Colorado River Delta Ecological Monitoring

monitoringIn addition to community-based restoration and binational governmental collaboration, the Sonoran Institute’s conservation work in the Delta is founded on years of research and ecological monitoring. Since 2005 Sonoran Institute and partners have been monitoring riparian and marsh/wetland habitat conditions, water quantity and quality, and diversity and abundance of wildlife, particularly fish and avian species in the Delta. Our research drives the focus of our conservation priorities and goals, forming the base from which to develop restoration models and evaluate the progress and impact of our conservation work in the Delta.

Sonoran Institute and partners are currently conducting ecological monitoring in the following areas:

The Hardy River

The Hardy River, a 25-mile long tributary of the Colorado River, carries 6,000-11,000 acre-feet of agricultural drainage water per year and now receives approximately 240 liters/second of effluent from Las Arenitas Wastewater Treatment Plant. Monitoring of water quality and quantity as well as fish abundance is helping us to inform local people who use the river for recreation, hunting and fishing of the river’s health. Coming soon… more on the Hardy River

The Estuary  

Limited river flows and the presence of a sand bar acting as a physical barrier between what remains of the Colorado River and the ocean are likely causing the decline of the Upper Gulf of California fisheries and estuarine habitat. In order to better understand the relationship between river flows and marine species populations, we are developing an ecological model based on the monitoring of several key ecological indicators.

La Cienega de Santa Clara

Fed by the agricultural runoff of the Welton and Mohawk valleys in Arizona, this accidental manmade wetland is now the largest and most important wetland in the Delta, providing habitat to more than 150,000 migratory birds and the endangered Yuma Clapper Rail. With the recent construction of a desalinization plant in Yuma, monitoring water quality and quantity has become even more critical to ensuring the preservation of this biosphere reserve.

Las Arenitas Wetland

The 250-acre Las Arenitas Wastewater Treatment Wetland is currently one of few artificial wetlands created in Mexico to treat wastewater. This innovative approach to wastewater management uses natural processes to aid in the filtration and cleaning of wastewater while additionally providing habitat to many bird species and other wildlife. Bird abundance and diversity as well as water quality and quantity are being monitored at the wetland to ensure that the effluent from the treatment plant meets environmental standards.