River restoration activities are becoming increasingly common in many communities today. Such efforts in Arizona are illustrative of a larger ecosystem and river restoration trend underway nationally and internationally. This paper examines river restoration efforts in Arizona in the context of changing federal and state agency missions and local priorities. Restoration projects on four significant rivers are analyzed with a keen look at the design features they share. Multiple purpose goals, collaborative funding and support, community involvement, and monitoring and maintenance emerged as important project design features. We found that the extent to which these features were planned and implemented in any given project varied with several factors such as size, accessibility to urban populations and the mission of the principal sponsoring entity.

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