Frogs are disappearing at an unprecedented pace all around the world. In Arizona, this is largely because rivers and streams are drying up.
In the southwest, the once abundant leopard frog is dying off, largely due to the loss of its home in rivers that used to flow year-round. The once vibrant Santa Cruz River and its tributary streams is one such waterway which used to support a large part of southern Arizona communities, desert wildlife, and riparian (streamside) vegetation. This includes some unique—and even endangered—species, including the Gila chub and Gila topminnow, leopard frogs, Sonoran mud turtles, and the Mexican garter snake. However, these rivers and streams now only flow after heavy rains—otherwise, they are dry and sandy. Leopard frogs and other critters are finding it harder and harder to survive in this desert climate without flowing water.
There is still hope. Shallow groundwater continues to run under these rivers and creeks most of the year, not too far from the surface. We need YOUR help to restore flow for these desert rivers and streams. Through watershed planning and restoration, community education and training, and policy work, we can raise the water table and return regular flow to these desert waterways. In doing so, we're preserving more than critical habitat and beautiful recreation areas—but entire species that depend on desert waterways. Our approach is four-pronged:
We have been working on these approaches in the Sabino and Tanque Verde Creeks with great success so far. We have established two large restoration sites, worked with homes to harvest water into their native rain gardens, developed volunteer flow and well monitors, hosted workshops with community members, school kids, and cub and boy scouts, and are working with county, state and federal agencies.
You can help! Just $5 restores flow to two feet of desert rivers, towards our goal of returning flows to 100 miles of desert rivers and streams that travel through the Tucson Basin, and the restoration of riparian habitat and natural channels.
Watershed Management Group (WMG) develops community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment. They provide people with the knowledge, skills, and resources for sustainable livelihoods.
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