Habitat preservation and restoration is a primary concern for Arroyo Colorado stakeholders. The Habitat Restoration Work Group was established to protect the remaining natural habitats in the watershed. A well-functioning ecosystem provides pollutant filtration, landscape stability and stormwater mitigation, especially in riparian areas. While the Arroyo Colorado watershed is a highly modified watershed, low impact development (LID) practices and filter strips can minimize environmental impacts where development or land clearing is necessary. The original watershed protection plan specified a multifaceted strategy that involved wetland construction, conservation and restoration of existing riparian and wetland habitats, preservation of natural areas and reduction of channel and stream bank erosion.
Original action items included:
The Partnership will continue to implement these action items. Actions one and two are particularly important. Acquiring conservation easements through the purchase or donation of development rights within the Arroyo Colorado watershed, especially riparian areas, can protect sensitive areas of the watershed from development. Easements allow landowners to retain ownership of their land while agreeing to leave it in its natural state for perpetuity. Conservation easements do not imply nor provide for public access to these lands. A conservation organization or public entity can also purchase and manage land for its protection.
Agencies and organizations that assist with acquiring conservation easements include: