Logo is a black and white drawing of a humpback chub in a canyon background

How To Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in conservation projects in and around the Colorado River

National Park Service biologist Melissa Trammel displaying a humpback chub captured with hoop nets on the Little Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Non-Profits and Community Partnerships in Western Colorado

State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Colorado Canyons Association fosters community stewardship, education, and awareness of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on McInnis Canyons, Dominguez-Escalante, and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Areas (NCAs) in western Colorado.

Colorado Water Congress

Riversedge West– Rivers are the foundation of life in the arid Southwest. At the river’s edge is the riparian (riverside) area, often called a “ribbon of life” for its importance in sustaining diverse plants and animals.

The benefits of riparian areas span far beyond providing food and habitat for fish and wildlife into economic, recreational, and agricultural prosperity. 

Discover how RiversEdge West improves the health of riparian ecosystems while promoting the economic, social, and cultural well-being of communities in the American West. 

Colorado River Energy Distributors Association

For more than thirty years, One Riverfront is the volunteer board that works collaboratively with partners to foster community stewardship and enhance the Colorado and Gunnison River corridors. Described as a string of pearls the community amenities of the corridor is comprised of county lands, city parks, state parks/wildlife areas and even private lands with special easements to allow public access to the trail system.

Our Vision: A Colorado River system that is a centerpiece of the Grand Valley for ecologic, economic, cultural, and recreational values.

Jicarilla apache Nation

Our mission at Colorado West Land trust is to protect and enhance agricultural land, wildlife habitat and scenic lands in western Colorado to benefit the community at large, enrich lives, provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, and ensure our connection to land for generations to come.

Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy helps to protect more than 1,000 miles of Critical Habitat for listed endangered fish in the upper Colorado River basin. TNC develop specific resources that benefit natural resources and the programs, including Matheson Wetland in Utah, stream restoration efforts in the San Juan basin, and much more! Volunteering information can be found here

Nature Conservancy

The Colorado River District’s Community Funding Partnership was created in 2021 to fund multi-purpose water projects on the Western Slope in five project categories: productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health and water quality, and conservation and efficiency. Community Funding Partnership information can be found here

Fun Citizen Science Activities

Nature Conservancy

Get outside and get some data! Citizen science projects are a great way to learn more about the birds and other wildlife while helping scientists gather valuable information. The National Audubon Society has a long tradition of citizen science. Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, which has continued for over a century is the “great grandfather” of today’s citizen science projects. Whether you are looking for a science activity to do with a child, are a die-hard bird counter, or just love recording your own observations, there are projects for every skill level and interest. All of the projects listed here can be done in Mesa County.

Nature Conservancy

Middle Colorado Watershed Council rolls out non-native species reporting app! Anglers and outdoor water recreators can help track nonnative species in our local waters using a new nuisance species reporting app being released by Middle Colorado Watershed Council. Users of the new app will identify where they encountered a nonnative species, and allow them to upload the specific locations, and a description and photo of the species. The real-time notification will be reviewed internally and then shared with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Podcasts

Nature Conservancy

Fish of the Week Podcast– Diverse guests bring their perspectives about the latest fisheries science and how fish are woven into the fabric of communities and cultures across North America and beyond. The co-hosts bring their own excitement and humor to help listeners walk away from each episode smiling and with practical information and calls to action about how to live with, live from, discovery and enjoy our amazing finned friends. 

Five little things one can do everyday to help the Colorado River

1. Know where your water comes from. Water has to travel surprisingly far to reach your faucet. If you’re reading this, the chances are that some (or all!) of your water comes from the Colorado River.

2. Use less water—every drop counts! Use water-saving devices and reduce your outdoor water use in the summer.
· Shorten your shower by two minutes and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
· Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 150 gallons per month.

· Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full and save up to 200 gallons a month.

· Fix that leaky faucet or running toilet and save up to 300 gallons per month.

· Use native and drought-tolerant plants to landscape your home and water them in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation. Water-wise landscaping can greatly reduce water use—and lower your water bill.

3. Choose your food wisely. Consider buying food grown locally and sustainably, using water-efficient practices. EATING LOCALLY Buying locally grown produce helps support your community’s economy and cuts down on energy used for transportation.

4. Support organizations that protect our rivers. Learn more about organizations like The Nature Conservancy that protect and restore our rivers.

5. Encourage friends and family to take action! Inspire others to care for our lands and rivers, explore the outdoors, and try new adventures like rafting, fishing, and hiking.

We must come together to create innovative, collaborative solutions that work for everyone—including farmers and ranchers, cities, Tribal Nations, outdoor recreation, and industry. It’s that spirit that we must channel now more than ever to accelerate our efforts to build climate resilience in the Colorado River Basin.

credit-The Nature Conservancy

 “To truly understand a river, you must let its waters flow through your veins,”

John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902)

An American geologist, U.S. Army soldier, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions.