The life of the Rio Grande has been drastically altered over the past one hundred years…the river has been dammed, diverted, channeled, and, in some stretches, gone completely dry. The river’s needs have been sorely neglected, which has in turn had a significant impact on the lives of the fish, birds, and other creatures that rely on the river and the bosque for habitat.
“All over the West, rivers have been manipulated,” said Steve Harris, director of Rio Grande Restoration. “I can’t think of any river system that doesn’t have a long list of extirpated or extinct species, or ones on the endangered list.” Healthy rivers are essential to the livelihoods and wildlife of the interior west. In an era of growing demand for freshwater and climate change impacts to water supply, there is one organization that has led the charge, working to assure that the Rio Grande will again flow as the Great River, with a restored ecosystem. This organization is Rio Grande Restoration and deserves your support!
A high level of water extraction for agriculture and increasing domestic use threatens the Rio Grande. Most of the major tributaries and many of the lesser ones support substantial agricultural production. A tamed river, with no rampaging floods, and a faucet to open or close flow for human needs was the ideal. Except what was good for humans wasn’t all that great for the natural life, from micro to macro, that had evolved over the eons to the surge and ebb of natural riparian flows.
The future life of the Rio Grande will be determined by not just one voice or a few voices, but by many voices. Rio Grande Restoration speaks as a voice for the river in meetings and forums with state, local, and federal officials, representing the river’s needs in the decision making process. They are committed to a collaborative process of seeking solutions for the river, which includes the difficult task of turning adversaries into allies. Offering public education programs about the river and bringing the river to the people and the people to the river, through slide show presentations, Rio Grande river trips and Rio Chama river trips. Please support the efforts of Rio Grande Restoration and become a voice for the river!