NM Environment Department Seeks River Restoration

River restoration efforts in several New Mexico counties could get a boost next year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Environment Department plans to ask the Legislature for $1.5 million in capital outlay funding to improve water quality and stream habitat along some rivers.

One project calls for improving native fish habitat and restoring wetlands for filtering out industrial waste along the San Juan River.

In all, about a dozen groups in the state have identified $3 million worth of river restoration projects. If the state is able to secure capital outlay money for a portion, it can leverage the appropriations for more federal dollars.

Beth Bardwell with Audubon New Mexico says with the continued drought, now is a good time to shore up some of New Mexico's rivers.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.