Wetland Jewel Projects:
Wetlands serve several important functions. They help improve surface water quality by preventing erosion, stabilizing stream banks, breaking down some types of pollutants and reducing flood damage. They recharge groundwater and are nature’s buffer zone between groundwater and surface water. In short, they are crucial in helping maintain a balanced ecosystem.
Unfortunately, wetland loss is rising at an alarming rate. Amigos Bravos works with volunteers and partner agencies and organizations to mitigate wetland habitat destruction. Our work has become even more critical with the new narrower definition of WOTUS (Waters of the U.S.) that will exclude up to 95% of wetlands and streams across New Mexico from protection. The Trump Administration’s EPA is making it easier to fill in bogs, creeks and streams for plowing, drilling, mining or building, and therefore making developers, oil and gas drillers, miners, and other industries the winners in these devastating regulatory rollbacks, which Amigos Bravos is fighting with our namesake fierceness. (Click to learn more about lawsuit against the EPA.) Below you’ll find details about some of our on-the-ground wetland jewel restoration projects.
Wetland Jewel Advocacy
One of the best ways to create resilience in the face of climate change is to protect and restore mountain wetlands that play an important role in the ecology of the landscape. Amigos Bravos worked with GIS (Geographic Information System ) consultants to identify, analyze, prioritize, and map high priority wetlands in the Rio Grande headwaters for protection and restoration. Eight “Wetland Jewels” were identified for special protections in the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests. Read More >
Midnight Meadows On-the-Ground Restoration
Beginning in 2006, Amigos Bravos has been working to restore the Midnight Meadows Beginning in 2006 Amigos Bravos has been working to restore the Midnight Meadows Wetland Jewel by installing riparian protection fencing and erosion control and mitigation structures. This project involves working with restoration experts, the USFS and numerous volunteers. Read More >
La Jara Wetland Jewel On-the-Ground Restoration
Restoration work in the La Jara Wetland Jewel involves installing a mile-long welded metal riparian pasture fence, producing a wetland assessment and restoration plan, fixing 4 head cuts/incised channels, and a large channel reroute to reconnect the river to the floodplain.
Rio Fernando de Taos Projects:
Watershed Based Plan
In 2007 Amigos Bravos initiated a Monitoring Program with Sierra Club Water Sentinels
to develop a baseline of information on the Rio Fernando de Taos water quality. In 2016 Amigos Bravos received a 319 Grant to complete a Watershed-based Plan (WBP) to collect further data and create detailed on-the-ground restoration projects for the RFdT. The primary impetus for developing the RFdT WBP derives from an abundance of E. coli sampling that highlighted an on-going water quality and public health concern. Read More >
Microbial Source Tracking – E.coli Sampling
While levels of coli and intense sampling during the Watershed Based Plan process can help to pinpoint E. coli issues, Microbial Source Tracking (MST) can pinpoint the species of animal the E. coli is coming from. We are sampling 5 sites along the Rio Fernando using MST.
Rio Fernando Revitalization
Made up of a diverse group of local partners, the Rio Fernando Collaborative is working to Bring the Rio Fernando Back to Life by advocating for improved water quality and watershed health, strengthened and supported acequia infrastructure and traditions, and increased engagement and access to the river. Collaborative projects include Rio Fernando park planning, Green Infrastructure implementation, and the repair of the main Rio Fernando head gate. Click to read a downloadable PDF of our MST work here >