The mission of the Santa Fe Watershed Association is to protect and restore the health and vibrancy of the Santa Fe River and its watershed for the benefit of people and the environment. We achieve this through education, restoration, stewardship, and advocacy. From the River’s headwaters to the Rio Grande, we honor the connection of people and the watershed.

  • Our goal is to protect the long-term integrity of the Santa Fe River’s watershed.
  • We engage in education, research, and on-the-ground projects of riparian and watershed restoration, as well as provide input into governmental planning, permits and projects.
  • We strive to find common ground among different points of view regarding uses of the river and its watershed.
  • We advocate surface and groundwater resource management that balances human use with natural resource protection.
  • We encourage government and community leaders to place high priority on sustaining seasonal stream flow in the Santa Fe River, yielding hydrologic, recreational, aesthetic and environmental value to the community. We believe that this goal can coexist with providing a reasonable supply for human use.


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The Santa Fe area faces the ongoing danger of catastrophic fire in our overgrown upper watershed, located above the City drinking supply reservoirs. Management of the forests that safeguard the reservoirs has been an important theme for the Watershed Association, but in the past few years we have given new attention to the middle and lower stretches of the river.

In particular, we are advocating restoration of consistent flow to the river to support vegetation and wildlife habitat, while recharging the groundwater. We are striving to create a sense of responsibility and common interest among all residents of the watershed.

Additionally, our education programs have provided opportunities for locals to experience the Santa Fe River and its watershed through both school and public programs.  Programs are designed to highlight a variety of ecosystems and explore ways that humans impact water and water impacts humans.