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Stanton, Phoenix Join McCain-Led Effort to Enhance the Rio SaladoStanton, Phoenix Join McCain-Led Effort to Enhance the Rio Salado<div class="ExternalClassEADC298270A842F0BF12A84FA971B9AA"><p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><em><strong>​Continued Rio Salado revitalization along 45-mile stretch could better support economic development, recreation and water conservation</strong></em></span></p><p>PHOENIX – Mayor Greg Stanton joined fellow leaders from tribal governments, local cities and Maricopa County to sign a multijurisdictional Statement of Intent for the continued development and revitalization of the Rio Salado.<br></p><p>The signing ceremony took place today during the Rio Reimagined Launch during an event hosted by Sen. John McCain and Arizona State University at the Tempe Center for the Arts that several federal, state, regional and tribal government partners attended.<br></p><p>“We are excited about the next chapter of the Rio Salado and working closely with more partners to foster greater economic development and recreation opportunities for our community,” said Stanton.  “I am grateful to Senator McCain for bringing our communities together and making this a higher federal priority so we can build on the progress we have made over the years.”<br></p><p>McCain is spearheading efforts to improve the Rio Salado and build on the decades-long efforts championed by former U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor.<br></p><p>The City Council unanimously approved today’s Statement of Intent signing on March 20.</p><p>“A potential large-scale infrastructure project that draws in economic development, water preservation, community connectivity and tourism is something we’ve talked and dreamed about for decades, but it has been slow going,” said Vice Mayor Thelda Williams. “We’re proud of our riverbed restoration at the Tres Rios Wetlands, but more can be done. As Sen. McCain’s legacy project, we are appreciative that he is re-energizing this key development.<br></p><p>“This effort honors the legacy of Ed Pastor and his service to our country, but more importantly it demonstrates the importance of collaborative governance,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “When multiple jurisdictions across sectors come together and work in partnership for the good of the numerous populations they serve, then great outcomes can be achieved. To do this for the preservation and development of communities, as well as the protection of the fragile desert landscape and its wildlife, is truly something to be proud of.”<br></p><p>“The Rio Salado project offers tremendous potential for the residents of my district and our city,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “I’m thrilled that Sen. McCain has chosen this as his legacy project. With his leadership, I’m confident this iteration of the Rio Salado project will continue to bring people together and celebrate the river for all that it offers us and all that it has already given our community.<br></p><p>“Any world-class city must invest in infrastructure and education, and this is where those worlds meet in Phoenix,” said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. “The Rio Salado Project is something we can work on creating and building together and that will be our legacy to future generations.<br></p><p>“It is great to see the conversation move forward to revitalize the Rio Salado. As we begin to prepare future plans for the project, it is important to remember the history and culture residents along the Rio Salado take pride in,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski. “I encourage the project’s working group to continue to maintain strong communication with the many neighborhood associations, businesses, and stakeholders along the project site.<br></p><p>For many years, the City of Phoenix has worked to revitalize the Rio Salado, with several projects along the river from State Route 143 to the east and 99th Avenue to the west.  For example, the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area spans 28th Street to the east and 19th Avenue to the west, and includes several amenities including the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center.<br></p><p>On the city’s west end, the Water Services Department treats effluent from the 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant and sustains fish and wildlife habitat at the Tres Rios Wetlands. Tres Rios also provides flood control protection and includes recreation and environmental education amenities.<br></p><p>This new collaborative effort helps to better unite and coordinate efforts along approximately 45 miles along the river’s corridor and up to a half mile wide spanning from Buckeye, Goodyear, the Gila River Indian Community, Avondale, Phoenix, Tempe, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Mesa.  ASU will continue to convene these partners and has developed a working group and framework to transform the Rio Salado into an area that better supports and drives economic development, recreation and water conversation.<br></p><p>One important step in creating connectivity is the completion of the Peace Path along the Rio Salado, which is a nearly three-mile trail that connects the work Phoenix and Tempe have completed (approximately SR 143 to the east and 28th Street to the west). The asphalt trail, expected to be completed in June 2018, includes low-line vegetation restoration, seating areas, and decorative art planters, and creates connectivity along the river.<br></p></div>3/30/2018 8:00:00 PMSeth Scott480-203-4622