Living Desert Alliance

Keep our Desert and Community Livable and Thriving.


April 25, 2024


Ozone Pollution Awareness

April marks the beginning of ground-level ozone pollution season.

Ground-level ozone is the principal component of what some call "smog" and is caused primarily by mobile source emissions (motorized vehicles). Other sources include industrial, power plants and biogenic emissions from certain types of vegetation.

In the Tucson region, ground-level ozone tends to be elevated in the spring and summer when there are more hours of intense sunlight. Breathing ozone can be unhealthy, especially for those who are sensitive to this pollutant. Some of the health effects that can occur include inflamed airways, difficulty breathing, coughing, and increases in asthma attacks.

There are many actions individuals can take to reduce contributing emissions. Incorporating these actions, even occasionally, will help protect air quality and the health of loved ones and Keep our Desert and Community Livable and Thriving.

Ways you can help reduce ozone emissions:

  • Replace car trips with biking, walking or taking public transit.
  • Maintain motor vehicles.
  • Refuel in the evening, reducing the interaction between solar radiation and precursor pollutants.
  • Share rides/carpool.
  • Reduce vehicle idling.
  • Work from home.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • Reduce the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

Additional information on ground-level ozone is available at

Sign up to receive PDEQ Air Quality Action Day alerts when air pollutant concentrations have high potential of reaching unhealthy levels.

A special congratulations to The City of Tucson for exceeding

the ground-level ozone health-based air quality standard

at five different monitoring sites on April 17.

Proof that coordinated efforts by government and the public pay off.

Santa Cruz River Urban National Wildlife Refuge

Support an Urban National Wildlife Refuge along the Santa Cruz River in Southern Arizona

For over 12,000 years, the Santa Cruz River and its underlying aquifer supplied crucial water to humans and wildlife from the Tucson Basin to the current U.S./Mexico border. However, the arid climate and excessive use depleted the aquifer and dried up the river.

From the 1970s until recently, wastewater effluent had been the water source for two stretches of river, but it was of poor quality. Recent efforts to revitalize the river led to significant upgrades in wastewater treatment plants, bringing back clean water and supporting plant and animal life.

With ongoing dedication and support, the Santa Cruz River can be restored, providing an essential resource for people, agriculture, and nature in the region’s arid landscape.

You can help preserve this precious resource by signing on to support the creation of the Santa Cruz Urban National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. Together, we can join thousands of Pima and Santa Cruz County residents to see the river corridor protected in perpetuity.

Sign here to Support the Santa Cruz River

Attention Artists!

Are you inspired by the Sonoran Desert and its creatures? Do you write poetry or prose related to your experiences in nature? Is the desert your muse for artwork? If so, The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection is interested in using your work in one of the next editions of A Dose of Desert Joy!

To participate, send photos, artwork, and prose to

If accepted, your work will be included in one of their next editions!

The above photo was submitted to A Dose of Desert Joy

by Terry Campbell.

River Run Network Restoration

Tanque Verde Plant Survey

Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Join WMG staff at the Tanque Verde Creek to conduct plant surveys as part of WMG's Arundo removal efforts to better understand how these areas will change over time. 

They will be collecting plant data from many areas along the creek using a method called plant transects.

You'll be accompanied by WMG staff to help you learn and use this method in the field, so no experience is necessary!

This is a great opportunity to use plant identification skills or learn all about the riparian plants in the desert.

Whether you'll be learning these things as you go, or practicing an old habit, you'll be helping to collect data that we will use for many years to track the changes and health of the Tanque Verde Creek.

Participants will be walking through sandy and possibly wet soils carrying light equipment and paper surveys throughout the Tanque Verde Creek so come prepared!

Click here to join in the fun

Living Desert Alliance Website. Stop by for a visit!

Living Desert Alliance