Bureau of Reclamation Awards $3 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Canal, Levee, and Bankline Improvements and Surveys along the Middle Rio Grande

Media Contact: Lisa Iams, 801-524-3673

For Release: December 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of The Department of the Interior, has awarded contracts totaling $3 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for strengthening of the Bosque del Apache levee, bankline improvements in the Bernalillo area and survey activities of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel along the Middle Rio Grande near San Marcial, New Mexico.

"The $3 million investment of recovery funds made by the Department of the Interior through President Obama's economic recovery plan will enable local contractors to raise and widen more than four miles of the Bosque del Apache levee system within and north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, stockpile riprap for future bank protection projects, and complete construction surveys of more than 60 miles of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel located along the Middle Rio Grande," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor.

The Low Flow Conveyance Channel is a water delivery canal that runs alongside the Rio Grande between San Acacia, New Mexico and Elephant Butte Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation built the low-flow channel as part of the Middle Rio Grande Project to provide more effective water and sediment transport and improve drainage and return flows of irrigation water from contiguous farmland.

The Low Flow Conveyance Channel also serves as the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge's main source of water; water flowing out of the low-flow channel also sustains marshes and wetlands below San Marcial, New Mexico.

For the past few years, Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Albuquerque, State Forestry Division, Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR and the Pueblo of Santa Ana have been doing their parts to restore more than 2,600 acres of wetland habitat along the Middle Rio Grande from El Ranchito to the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Endangered species, including the silvery minnow and Southwest Willow flycatcher, will continue to benefit from the groups collective restoration efforts.

The ARRA funding awards announced by Reclamation today are:

  • $200,000 for 60 miles of as-built surveys of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel starting at San Acacia Dam to River Mile 60
  • $2 million for loading, hauling and dumping of approximately 100,000 tons of borrow and fill material for strengthening a four mile stretch of the Bosque del Apache Levee system
  • $800,000 for procurement of 16,000 tons of riprap material for use in bank protection along the Rio Grande near Bernalillo, New Mexico

The purposes of the ARRA are, among others, to quickly and prudently commence activities which preserve and create jobs, promote economic recovery, and to invest in infrastructure by providing long-term economic benefits. Recovery Act funding must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2010.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has committed to quick and responsible implementation of the $3 billion in recovery funds, which will be used by the Department of the Interior and its agencies.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.