ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., -- On Dec. 11, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several other government agencies, kicked off the Urban Waters Middle Rio Grande conservation initiative in Albuquerque, N.M. The purpose of the initiative is to address both environmental justice and water quality issues in the Middle Rio Grande. Other agencies partnering in this initiative include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the County of Bernalillo, New Mexico.
The initiative incorporates a restoration project which will improve water quality and reconnect the community to the Middle Rio Grande, development of the Southwest’s first urban National Wildlife Refuge and a pilot program for storm water permits in the region.
“Across the country, a family of federal agencies is working with communities to restore their urban rivers and landscapes, and forge stronger connections between cities and their outdoor spaces,” said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science. “Through the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, we hope to do the same in Albuquerque—building on existing efforts to help restore the cottonwood Bosque and creating more access and green space for the two-thirds of New Mexico residents who live within an hour’s drive of the Valle de Oro National—the Southwest’s first urban National Wildlife Refuge.”
“The Corps is excited to be a part of this partnership that will increase awareness of the Rio Grande river ecosystem here in Albuquerque,” said Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District. “This partnership will allow connections between agencies that may not have developed otherwise.”