Date: Friday, December 17, 2021
ALBUQUERQUE — Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, today to highlight the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's $8.3 billion investments water management and drought resilience. During her visit, Assistant Secretary Trujillo met with City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials, members of the healthcare community and Urban Waters federal partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Assistant Secretary Trujillo visited the Albuquerque Middle Rio Grande Urban Waters location to underscore the importance of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Urban Waters brings together 15 federal agencies working collaboratively with local communities to restore urban waterways and surrounding lands to boost recreational opportunities, help local economies and protect the health of Americans.
“The Urban Waters Federal Partnership has community engagement and water equity hard-wired into its mission, while embracing the importance of restoring and conserving our natural resources for the benefit of communities that rely on them,” said Assistant Secretary Trujillo. “Our country faces growing challenges to its infrastructure, water supply and ecosystems due to climate change and aging water delivery systems. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our nation’s western water and power infrastructure, rebuild our existing projects to withstand a changing hydrology, and support activities that restore watershed health and critical aquatic ecosystems.”
Assistant Secretary Trujillo also visited Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, an urban refuge using innovative collaboration to support habitat restoration, stormwater drainage, youth employment and education, accessibility and environmental justice. During meetings with stakeholders, Assistant Secretary Trujillo discussed the ongoing project to develop a watershed-based plan for the Upper Tijeras Creek Watershed, Reclamation's recently completed wetland restoration project on the Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has constructed a new Visitor Center Complex and, together with partners, is creating wetlands and native habitats, trails and an outdoor classroom space to better serve the community.
Assistant Secretary Trujillo also visited the 10-acre South Valley Health Commons, which seeks to address unmet needs for the South Valley, helping provide access to early childhood development programs, affordable healthy food and safe places. She met with stakeholders to discuss ongoing collaboration with community partners on the construction of South Valley Health Commons with opportunities for students to learn about growing food and native plants.
To learn more about collaborative efforts to uplift urban waters and their surrounding communities, visit the Urban Waters website.