By: Audrey Rader, BRN Restoration Program Manager
We are pleased to announce that Borderlands Restoration Network is a recipient of an Arizona Department of Water Resources Watershed Management Assistance Program grant! The Arizona Department of Water Resources will provide roughly $105,000 in support over three years with the express purpose of preventing the Santa Cruz water table from experiencing long-term declines.
This project will take place on the T4 Ranch, a working ranch midway between Patagonia and Nogales, AZ. Borderlands Earth Care Youth and Watershed Restoration Program crews will work together to install erosion control structures across twelve degrading drainages of this 300-acre property.
In addition to restoring the physical processes of this site, we will also spread native, pelletized seed and mulch across bare ground. These activities will mitigate soil loss, increase water infiltration, and enhance native plant abundance and diversity while simultaneously educating and empowering our local youth.
During July, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) staff flew drones over T4 Ranch to obtain imagery establishing the baseline conditions of this site to better inform restoration activities. After restoration work is completed, ADEQ will again fly T4 Ranch to document and survey the land. These surveys may aid ongoing efforts by the United States Geological Survey to track gullying rates with and without erosion control structures. In tracking these rates, we will garner a better understanding of the effectiveness of erosion control efforts in this special area.
As proud occupants of these gorgeous Sky Islands, we are grateful when our work can continue through the generous support of our funders. We greatly appreciate the Santa Cruz Groundwater Users Advisory Council and Arizona Department of Water Resources Watershed Management in their support of the restoration of this vital region.
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