About the Santa Ana Watershed Association

The Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA) develops, coordinates and implements natural resource programs that support a sustainable ecosystem and social benefits from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. SAWA is committed to the protection and improvement of areas within the Santa Ana River Watershed, which includes portions of Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties. Major foci of SAWA are the removal of invasive species, native habitat enhancement and the protection of endangered and threatened species.

For more than 20 years, the Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA) and its partners have been promoting a healthy Santa Ana River watershed for the wildlife and the people who inhabit it. SAWA strives to restore the natural functions of the watershed through the enhancement and restoration of the native riparian community, removing exotic, invasive species and managing existing plants and wildlife resources. SAWA biologists conduct a variety of wildlife and habitat management services, including threatened and endangered species monitoring, sensitive species monitoring, cowbird control management, breeding bird surveys, winter bird surveys, raptor surveys, herpetological surveys, aquatic species surveys, wildlife movement monitoring, vegetation monitoring, mitigation reporting and development of habitat.

SAWA’s comprehensive data on restoration and wildlife and habitat management is utilized and well-regarded by a wide range of stakeholders in the watershed, including state and federal regulatory agencies, joint powers authorities, water districts, flood control agencies, developers, special districts, cities, counties, and engineering and environmental consulting firms.

In performing its work, SAWA collaborates with several agencies, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U. S. Forest Service (USFS), the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).