CSO Advisors of Willcox, Arizona – Ty White and Rebecca Bashme, took their middle school and high school CSOs to study the San Pedro River Recharge Project and to the Bisbee Smartmaker Lab today. Mr. Mark Apel, Environmental Projects Coordinator from Cochise County Engineering and Natural Resources gave the group a tour and an extensive insight into the importance of the river. Steps being taken to conserve the San Pedro River and recharge it were also discussed during the visit.

The San Pedro River is a northward-flowing stream originating about 10 miles south of the international border south of Sierra Vista, Arizona. It’s cottonwood-shaded corridor provides “critical stopover habitat for millions of migrating birds each year. It is one of only two major rivers that flow north out of Mexico into the United States and is one of the last large undammed rivers in the Southwest.

The San Pedro River basin is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish and 41 species of reptiles and amphibians. Species such as the jaguar and black bear stalk the region’s forested mountains while the Mexican gray wolf and black-tailed prairie dog reside in the expansive grasslands.

The mild climate around the San Pedro has attracted tens of thousands of newcomers and sprawling development in recent decades along certain parts of the river. Increasing human demands for water, for both domestic use and irrigation, is lowering the water table. Now, parts of the San Pedro are no longer perennially flowing.  Consequently, native streamside plants like cottonwoods are crowded out as adaptable invasive species (such as tamarisk) with deeper root systems thrive. Animal species, particularly birds, suffer as water is drawn deeper underground.”

Interested in more details, please visit their website – https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/san-pedro-river/

Leave a Reply