Meetings and Events for Middle Rio Grande
January Partnership Meeting
On January 24, federal, state, tribal, and local stakeholders held an Urban Waters Partnership meeting. The agenda included updating one another on the status of existing projects, discussion on future collaboration opportunities for the three partnership themes (water, economic development, and environmental education), and federal transition activities, including the government-wide Community Solutions Community of Practice.
September Partnership Meeting
The Middle Rio Grande Partnership help a meeting in September. The agenda focused on the report out from the Urban Waters National Training Workshop in July and the request for proposals for the next Workshop and also, a discussion on future collaboration opportunities for connecting the three partnership member themes: water, economic development, and environmental education.
Prior to 2016
Meetings of the MRG Urban Waters Partnership were divided into “federal partners” meetings and “full partnership” meetings. During early meetings, the federal partners decided to organize the MRG Urban Waters Partnership around three themes:
- Water Quality & Quantity
- Economic Development
- Environmental Education
Initial meetings were held around these themes in January and February 2014.
The Economic Development meeting led to talk of the SunPort Extension and the idea of the South Valley Transportation Plan.
At the Education meeting, the FWS stepped up and offered to coordinate that theme. FWS provided staff support for a series of meetings in 2014, out of which developed the Environment Education Employment (E3) Alliance, which has been meeting for over a year. Currently, FWS is providing funding through Conservation Legacy for a full-time E3 Alliance coordinator. The E3 Alliance is not a formal project of the MRG Urban Waters Partnership. The presence of the E3 Alliance has allowed another DOI initiative, Let’s Move! Outside (formerly, “50 Cities”), announced in July 2015, to have a smooth integration here. The Let’s Move! Outside initiative, a 4-year commitment from DOI and its partners – works with the national YMCA and others to engage youth where they live, learn, play, and work. Kickoff for this initiative was in July with a coordinating workshop in August.
In early 2014, four additional projects were added to the Partnership:
- Isleta Island Removal and Ecosystem Restoration – USACE and Isleta Pueblo project to improve river flow and habitat below the Isleta Diversion; Isleta announced in April 2015 that the project was completed with on-going monitoring and possible additional restoration work in the future as needed
- Corrales Siphon Restoration and Protection – USACE and Sandia Pueblo project to assess the extent of possible damage to the Corrales Siphon (due to exposure from river avulsion) and possible remedies; USACE withdrew from the project
- South Valley Transportation Improvement – DOT; an assemblage of transportation projects that at a minimum includes the SunPort Extension and 2nd Street improvements and may include almost two dozen projects, most of which are along or connect with the I-25 corridor and the Coors Blvd corridor
- Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning – DOT-led inter-agency transportation, land use, and climate change initiative that was rolled into the Mid-Region Council of Governments’ “Transportation 2040” plan update, completed in 2015; additional FWS funds led to two documents focused on climate change and the Refuge
In addition, the MS4 project was changed to, “Enhanced Stormwater Management” and includes, at least, AMAFCA’s project to install a stormwater facility from 2nd Street, through a swale across the Valle de Oro NWR, into the Bosque and, ultimately (given sufficient flow) into the river.
In November 2014, EPA provided a 10½-month contract for an Urban Waters Ambassador.
In April 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) made a request to add a project under the Urban Waters Partnership. Previously, the NPS had been working with FWS to incorporate the oldest documented alignment of a portion of the El Camino Real de la Tierra Adentro (which ran from Mexico City to what is now Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) across the Valle de Oro NWR. The request came with an expanded scope for the El Camino project across approximately 27 miles of Bernalillo and southern Sandoval counties. The NPS presented an overview of the proposal in August and the project was approved for inclusion under the Urban Waters Partnership.
Under the UWFP, the federal partners agree to make a three-year commitment to a designated location. Discussions on extending the Partnership beyond 2016 will begin in late 2015.