Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project

Students from San Luis spend the day planting willows on the Shriver-Wright State Wildlife Area.

Outreach and Education Program:

The RGHRP administers a robust Outreach and Education Program. Informative press releases are submitted to local and regional media with notable project updates. Talks and tours are routinely given to local schools, community groups, and water related organizations. Volunteer and youth events encourage community members to get involved and connected with the Rio Grande. Content of the Outreach and Education program includes details about projects, partnerships, funding entities, and the importance of protecting and conserving the Rio Grande.

In-stream Infrastructure Improvement Program:​

One of the priorities highlighted by the 2001 Study was the need to address aging and poorly functioning diversion dams and headgates. Many of these structures are inefficient, hazardous, and impassable by boats, fish, and wildlife. Through the In-Stream Infrastructure Improvement Program, the RGHRP works with irrigators to improve poorly functioning diversion dams and headgates.

The RGHRP has worked with partners and over 60 landowners on 10 Projects to improve the condition of over 11 miles of streambanks on the Rio Grande. The projects have utilized a multi-faceted approach and have resulted in improved water quality, reduced streambank erosion, increased sediment transport capacity, increased quality of riparian areas, and proper functioning floodplains. These improvements truly enhance the overall condition of the Rio Grande in Colorado.

Watershed Stewardship Program:

The RGHRP has recognized the need to play a significant role in regional efforts to safeguard the Upper Rio Grande Watershed as a source of water, habitat, and extraordinary natural and cultural resources. As such, the RGHRP is working with stakeholders and partners to complete wildfire restoration and hazard mitigation projects. It is expected that this program will include future projects to improve water security through efforts to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and improve forest health. 

The Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project administers the following programs: