The Colorado River originates in the Rocky Mountains, winds 1,450 miles through seven states and supports 36 million people. It is a vital water source, filling drinking and agricultural needs, and providing an exceptional menu of outdoor activities along the way.
Millions of people enjoy fishing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, boating, and camping on the river each year, and probably most are unaware that the river is running dry by the time it reaches the Sea of Cortez.
The river is tapped out. Demand exceeds supply. Fish and wildlife are endangered. The recreation economy is endangered. The river is endangered.
For these reasons, American Rivers, a conservation organization that works to protect and restore our nation’s rivers and streams, named the Colorado River as the 2013 Most Endangered River in America.
American Rivers released its annual top 10 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers report on Wednesday. Canoe & Kayak details the rivers, the threats, and what’s at risk.
American Rivers also offers this poignant video from the Colorado River’s point of view, hoping people will sit up and notice, and become part of the solution. It’s eye-opening for the scenic views and message:
American Rivers is urging people to take action by asking Congress to support funding of critical programs that address sustainable water supply in the Colorado River Basin and across the West.
“We get to enjoy a very special resource as paddlers,” said Canoe & Kayak online editor Charli Kerns. “It’s important to be reminded that we get to enjoy them because of people and organizations like American Rivers who work to illuminate the issues surrounding our rivers and find solutions to protect and restore them.”
Photo courtesy of American Rivers Facebook page.