Partnership aims to conserve Pecos River

Partnership aims to conserve Pecos River

Jonathan Harshman remembers visiting the Pecos River watershed for the first time and feeling awestruck.

And it wasn’t only the area’s natural beauty that affected him. He also saw things like Leon Springs pupfish swimming in their only natural habitat.

“It was just inspirational and amazing to witness,” said Harshman, a Chevron public and government affairs advisor.

And Chevron is helping the region restore and sustain its health, through its support of the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative (PWCI). This public-private partnership aims to restore and sustain the health of the Pecos River, its tributaries and adjacent grassland habitats in the Permian Basin.

Why it matters

The 900-mile Pecos River runs from the forests of northern New Mexico to the drylands of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, where it joins the Rio Grande.

It’s home to fish and other animals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. The PWCI exists, in part, to strengthen the health of these habitats.

Energy’s role

Founded in 2017, the PWCI comprises energy companies and public entities seeking to conserve the environment. The initiative strives to:

  • Protect the last remaining populations of fish and aquatic species found in the Pecos River and the Chihuahuan Desert region.
  • Improve the health of existing habitats along the river.
  • Address water scarcity and quality.
  • Find ways to bring species back to areas where they’ve been lost and to build up existing populations.

More on that

Chevron’s support of the PWCI goes beyond sponsorship. The company’s employees volunteer their time and share their expertise to help the initiative succeed.

For example, on Earth Day 2024, volunteers from Chevron planted native salt grass at the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge to help support water and soil conservation within the Pecos watershed.

“There are some really beautiful and special places that serve as a habitat for wondrous creatures in this area,” Harshman said. “It’s neat to be able to help conserve those for future generations.”