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2 AZ tribes join White House’s new national effort to preserve freshwater, wetlands

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

On Tuesday, two Arizona tribes have joined a new White House effort to conserve and restore freshwater resources for future generations.

The Navajo Nation and Gila River Indian Community were named alongside more than 100 inaugural members participating in “The America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge,” an initiative that is intended to restore the country’s waterways.

They’re among six other tribes, seven states and 24 local governments that have pledged to support freshwater restoration within their communities.

This partnership’s new goal is to protect and reconnect 8 million acres of wetlands and 100,000 miles of the nation’s rivers and streams.

More than a third of Arizona’s wetlands have been lost since the late 1800s.

Gabriel Pietrorazio is a correspondent who reports on tribal natural resources for KJZZ.