Rio Reimagined Project aims to restore Salt and Gila Rivers

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Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Urban Waters Federal Partnership Act, continuing the late Arizona Senator John McCain’s legacy. The act is being established to support the Rio Reimagined Project by authorizing the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) program.

The Rio Reimagined Project was created to restore and strengthen more than 55 miles along the Salt and Gila Rivers. The Rio Reimagined initiative is centered on three objectives: creating communities, restoring and revitalizing healthy rivers, and developing economic sustainability.

The initiative champions the transformation of the Salt and Gila Rivers into the heart of the Valley, redefining our evolving relationship with water and reconnecting our communities to one another and the environment.

Implementing strategies to revitalize the communities and amenities along the Salt and Gila rivers are just a few of the responsibilities of the new Rio Reimagined Ambassador, Cindi Ptak, who will serve as liaison between local partners and the federal government as part of the UWFP.

“The ambassador position is new,” Ptak said. ” It’s new to Rio Reimagined, but the initiative itself is not.”

Ptak explained that the position is part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership Act which was established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“My primary goal as the ambassador right now is to coalesce the work that has been done for years and really link it up with our federal partners and federal funding opportunities so that we can start to see some impact by capitalizing investments,” Ptak said.

One statement that Ptak likes to use when explaining the mission of the project is “The river is the people and the people are the river.”

Cindi Ptak, Rio Reimagined Project Ambassador

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