Rio Grande Return is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting New Mexico’s rivers, streams, springs, seeps, and the unique habitats and diverse wildlife they support.


Our mission is based upon the recognition that our rivers and springs are not only necessary, but that they are sacred – the life-source upon which all human and biotic communities depend. This sensibility is recognized by the Puebloan people whose stewardship of these waters, in all their various cycles and meandering forms, is cultivated as a relationship with Avanyu, the Puebloan life-giving spirit of water. Rio Grande Return joins in this spirit of stewardship. We are committed to better understanding, and to actively working to protect and restore, our watersheds, waters, and the native plants and wildlife that have evolved over millions of years in relationship to the sacred waters of the arid Southwest.

As as non-profit, we rely on financial support from the community in order to continue this important work. Please join us in our commitment to protect and restore our streams and wetlands by making a  TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION. Volunteer opportunities to help on restoration projects arise from time to time so click here to get on the mailing list and get involved.

Recent Posts

Santa Fe County Erosion Control

Santa Fe County, NM This erosion control project is part of a larger restoration effort on private property in Santa Fe County. For this implementation, we worked closely alongside Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone, who designed the treatment (original design at right), as well as Paul Butt, Conservation Chair for the ECIA. Project goals include protecting … Continue reading Santa Fe County Erosion Control

Santa Fe River Pond Leveler Installation

Santa Fe County, NM December 2021 installation of a pond leveling device (also called a Beaver Deceiver) to lower the water level above a beaver dam along the Santa Fe River at Calle Debra and Paseo Real, just west of the Santa Fe Airport. The low lying road is prone to flooding in high flows, … Continue reading Santa Fe River Pond Leveler Installation

The Conservation Homestead

Galisteo Basin Preserve, NM This project in the Galisteo Basin Preserve follows the razing of an old homestead and aims to remediate the site’s ecological function and facilitate recreational access to the area. The homestead was purchased by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust with the intention of demonstrating the processes of returning a highly developed … Continue reading The Conservation Homestead

Rancho Del Oso Pardo – Upper Nabor Creek

Chama, NM In November 2021, we built 8 postless BDAs as a demonstration project at Rancho Del Oso Pardo, a private ranch near Chama, NM. Structures were built using small diameter trees felled from nearby, overstocked slopes as well as rocks and sediments adjacent to, and within the stream channel. BDA locations were chosen to … Continue reading Rancho Del Oso Pardo – Upper Nabor Creek

More Posts