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USIBWC's Adopt-a-River Program

USIBWC's Adopt-a-River Program enables community groups to participate in the promotion of a litter-free Rio Grande. Community groups sign a contract to adopt a section of the river and promising to conduct several river cleanups each year. USIBWC will pick up filled trash bags the following work day after the cleanup, and USIBWC will post signs stating the community group has adopted that section of the river. The Adopt-a-River Program is currently operating in USIBWC's Upper Rio Grande project area, from from Percha Diversion Dam in New Mexico downstream to the tri-county line at the southern end of Hudspeth County, Texas.

Currently, we have 9 groups signed up. If you are interested in adopting a portion of the river, please contact the Adopt-a-River Coordinator.



Adopt A River Participants

Southwestern Environmental Center cleans up their section near Mesilla, June 2009
Adopt-A-River Sign
Adopt-a-River signs are posted at the adopted sections

Adopt-a-River Contacts

USIBWC Adopt-a-River Coordinator -
Leslie Grijalva
USIBWC Texas Clean Rivers Program
(915) 832-4770


USIBWC Adopt-a-River Coordinator -

Rebecca Little Owl and Elizabeth Verdecchia
USIBWC Environmental Management Div.
(915) 832-4734 or (915) 832-4701
email or email


Adopt A River Participants
Venturing Crew 264 cleans their section near Sunland Park, NM in November 2010

Adopt-a-River Brochure

Download the Adopt-a-River Brochure





Adopt A River Participants
EPCC cleans their section near Borderland Bridge in July 2010

Adopted River Segments


Community Group

Riverside Dam (El Paso, TX)

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo

Old McNutt Refinery property in El Paso, TX to Sunland Park Drive, NM

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest

Sunland Park Drive, NM to Montoya A Lateral, NM

Venturing Crew 264, Yucca Council Boy Scouts of America

Montoya A Lateral, NM to Country Club Road, TX

J.M. Hanks High School JROTC

Country Club Road to Borderland (El Paso, TX)

Texas Master Naturalists

Borderland Bridge to 259/La Union Street/Canutillo Bridge, TX

El Paso Community College

259/La Union Street/Canutillo Bridge to Chicken Farm Road, TX


Chicken Farm Road through Vinton Bridge to Anthony Drain (Vinton, Texas)

Keep Vinton Beautiful

Anthony Drain in Vinton, TX upstream to Washington St/225 Bridge in Anthony, NM

Engineering Department

Various segments between Anthony, NM and Mesilla, NM

Available for adoption

Mesilla Dam to Calle del Norte Bridge (Mesilla, NM)

Southwest Environmental Center

Various Segments north of Mesilla, NM

Available for adoption


Map of Adopted River Sections

The map below shows adopted sections in purple.

Safety Tips for Adopt-a-River Cleanups

To protect yourself and others:

  • Park all vehicles along levee roads.
  • Stop work in inclement weather.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Wear light-colored clothing.
  • Wear heavy gloves.
  • Wear leather shoes or boots.
  • Wear a hat and long sleeves.
  • Wear sunscreen and bug repellent.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not remove hazardous objects.
  • Watch for sharp objects
  • Watch for holes in the ground or rough terrain.
  • Be alert for snakes.
  • Avoid contact with noxious weeds.
  • Do not pick up items on highway bridges and levee culverts.
  • Stay clear of any construction.
  • Do not enter the Rio Grande, wasteways or drains.
  • Furnish adequate supervision by one or more adults for participants 15 years of age or under.
  • Work in pairs whenever possible.
  • Know your exits

In case of emergency...

  • Every crew should have a first aid kit.
  • Have transportation readily available.

Housekeeping -

  • Call the local USIBWC Field Office afterwards to advise them to pick up the full trash bags (or the Adopt-a-River Coordinator)
  • And thank you for doing your part to keep our beautiful Rio Grande litter free.


Adopt A River ParticipantsGirl Scouts dig up a metal pipe in the floodplain during their cleanup in September 2010
Adopt A River ParticipantsUTEP and EPCC clean the future EPCC adopted section near Borderland Bridge in January 2010
Adopt A River ParticipantsGirl Scouts cleanup in September 2010
Adopt A River ParticipantsTexas Master Naturalists cleanup registration table during their September 2010 cleanup


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