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Major improvements to the Santa Cruz River

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 20:57:26-04

Pima County and the Sonoran Institute released a status report on the lower portion of the Santa Cruz River.  

The notable findings showed the water quality and clarity improved, and new fish species appeared. 

"The sound of moving water is really extraordinary," said Veronica Burroughs, an educator at Pima County Parks and Recreation. 

Findings show a reduced level of ammonia in the water, getting rid of an odor. More oxygen added to the water helped make this a livable ecosystem. 

"The fact that the water is clean and habitable for wildlife is really amazing," Burroughs said. "That just builds the food chain from the bottom up."

Some of the aquatic life living there include western mosquitofish, common carp, black bullhead, and green sunfish.

Only about two percent of Arizona's landscape is water. However, this water is used for nearby wetlands and water parks.

The team hopes the improved water quality will bring more species and visitors.