$150,000 Donated to Save the Colorado River in 2010
A campaign to help save the Colorado River is supplying $40,000 to causes that aim to protect the Upper Colorado River.Of that money, three-fourths has been donated to the Colorado Environmental Coalition to address new transbasin diversion threats “which have given the Upper Colorado River the dubious distinction of being named one of the ‘Most Endangered Rivers in America’ for 2010.”The Coalition’s “Colorado River Protection Campaign” will “aggressively promote water conservation in Denver and Front Range cities as an alternative water supply source.”Meanwhile, about $10,000 was donated to the American Whitewater Association, “to protect streamflows – thus boating opportunities – in the Upper Colorado River.”Called “The Save the Colorado River Campaign Fund,” the nonprofit Colorado River advocacy organization announced its grants for 2010, totaling $150,000 donated to 10 environmental groups from the top of the river basin all the way to the bottom – all working to protect and restore the Colorado River. “The status quo is no longer working,” said Gary Wockner, Campaign Coordinator for the Save the Colorado Campaign. “The river is nearing a complete crisis, which may also be an economic crisis for the Southwest U.S. Through the Campaign Fund’s granting efforts, we are trying to support innovative projects and stimulate new activism all along the basin to help keep the river alive.”The Save the Colorado Campaign Fund also made a grant to the Glen Canyon Institute in Utah for its “Fill Lake Mead First” project, an effort to address the dwindling water levels in both Lake Powell and Lake Mead. The effort may also provide more stable water supplies to Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California.”The total amount of water in those combined reservoirs continues to drop with no end in sight,” said Wockner. “We are excited to invest in the ‘Fill Lake Mead First’ project as a provocative new idea that may help stave off a dire economic situation in the Southwest as well as potentially restore parts of Glen Canyon on the Colorado River.”At the bottom of the basin, the fund supported an effort by San Diego Coastkeeper to recycle wastewater and turn it into city drinking water. The water recycling effort, called “Indirect Potable Reuse,” could help decrease the demand for Colorado River water by the City of San Diego. At the top of the basin, the Fund donated to the Colorado Environmental Coalition – which includes partner efforts with Trout Unlimited and Western Resources Advocates.The Save the Colorado River Campaign is led by New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins. The Campaign Fund is further supported by donations from Patagonia, Clif Bar & Company, Kenney Brothers Foundation, National Geographic, Environment Now, The Environment Foundation, and OARS. “The Colorado River is in dire straits,” said Wockner. “But we are extremely lucky to have all of these groups and people working throughout the basin. We are proud to support them and their work.”Additional funding went to:• Grand Canyon Trust to protect the Colorado River flowing through one of America’s crown jewels, Grand Canyon National Park.•Citizens for Dixie’s Future in Utah to address the threat of the Lake Powell Pipeline which will drain even more water from the Colorado River.•Sheep Mountain Alliance in Colorado to protect stream flows and water rights on a tributary of the Colorado River.•Sonoran Institute of Tucson to try to create an instream flow program for the Colorado River Delta.•Earthjustice, the environmental law firm in Denver which is working to protect river flows throughout the basin.
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