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Kino Environmental Restoration Project

The Kino Environmental Restoration Project involved the modification of an existing flood control detention basin in the City of Tucson in order to restore natural habitat. The habitat restoration effort was undertaken in conjunction with plans to develop the Basin with recreational uses, including a bicycle/hiking trail and a public golf course.

Aspen prepared the Ecosystem Restoration Report for the project, which included an evaluation of several restoration alternatives and a detailed habitat restoration plan for the selected alternative.  Reclaimed water from a local sewage treatment plant was utilized to support the restoration effort, allowing the creation of riparian, wetland, and open water habitat.  Because of the site’s location along the Pacific Flyway, these habitats will provide a valuable foraging and resting area for migrating waterfowl, shore birds, and song birds. One of the primary challenges of the project was the creation of viable habitat in an urban setting that is compatible with adjacent recreation uses. The restoration plan also included an incremental cost analysis and a Habitat Evaluation Procedure analysis. The lead federal agency for the project is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local sponsor is Pima County.

Aspen also subsequently prepared a Design Modification Report to modify the project to increase the acreage restored from 27 to 50 acres.

 The Kino Environmental Restoration Project received the Chief of Engineers Award of Excellence in 2006 from the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Environmental Category. In recognizing this project, the judges said, “This is truly an exceptional project. It takes an existing mud flat in an arid area and creates aesthetic landscapes, recreation features, flood control, and is a prototype for water harvesting. It is technically sophisticated while appearing natural. It has proved sustainable over the recent drought years.”

Practice areas: Infrastructure and Public Works

Services provided for this project: