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Meridian Institute

Jemez River -- New Mexico Collaborative Watershed Project

Related: Environment and Natural Resources

New Mexico’s Jemez River and its tributaries have experienced significant impairment due to soil erosion, which is thought to have resulted from a variety of natural and other activities such as grazing, recreation, stream bank modification, removal of riparian vegetation, silviculture, road construction and maintenance, and channel widening. In support of Total Maximum Daily Load implementation by the State of New Mexico’s Environment Department (to comply with Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act), Meridian was hired to help the Jemez community develop the capacity to improve water quality in the watershed.

Beginning in February 2004, Meridian facilitated quasi-monthly meetings among a diverse array of stakeholders. The participants included members of the general public; water users; private landowners; local, state, and federal government officials; environmental group representatives; Pueblos; businesspeople; ranchers and farmers; teachers; and students.

Meridian helped these community members form the Jemez Watershed Group (JWG), develop a detailed Watershed Restoration Action Strategy, and undertake ongoing community outreach and education programs. Meridian also helped a member of the group apply for a grant to support community education and a series of watershed restoration activities. The grant was received, and other members are now applying for additional grants.


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