San Diego – As Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar inks a deal with Mexico to restore some water to the parched Colorado River Delta –called the“Bi-National Agreement” – the Save The Colorado River campaign launched an online “Thank You” ad on the Washington Post’s website linked to an online petition. The ad will run on for 3 weeks (see the ad here) and the new petition is launched on Change.org’s website (see the petition here).
Former Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, has offered his signature on the“Thank You” petition to Secretary Salazar.
“The dried up delta used to be a 2-million acre wetland, a vibrant fishery, and one of the biggest migratory bird oases in North America – under Secretary Salazar’s leadership, the delta will begin to heal and be restored to life,” said Gary Wockner, Director of the Save The Colorado River Campaign. “This is a great first step, and we ask Secretary Salazar to keep fighting to strike a smarter balance between our need to consume water with the environmental health of the river itself.”
Over the last 11 months, Save The Colorado has been working with over 2 dozen basin-wide conservation groups to rally support for the Bi-National Agreement through an online petition and a postcard gathering effort. In total, Save The Colorado gathered 6,120 online signatures and about 2,500 postcards, all of which were sent to the U.S. negotiators for the Agreement. The postcards were gathered during a Southwest U.S. tour of Robert Redford’s new documentary about the Colorado River, titled “Watershed.” Working with environmental groups throughout the basin, the Redford Center, and the film’s producer James Redford, Save The Colorado supported film premiers in San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Las Vegas. In total, over 3,000 people attended the screenings and heard the message of hope for the delta.
“This is truly one of the first remarkable environmental success stories of the 21stCentury,” said Wockner. “And the Watershed film tour helped thousands of people throughout the Colorado River states rally in support of the Agreement.”
Groups supporting the Watershed tour and petition effort are: Save the Colorado, Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Living Rivers: Colorado Riverkeeper, The Environmental Group, Western Rivers Institute, Blue Legacy, The Ocean Foundation, Clean Water Fund, San Diego Coastkeeper, Save the Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper, American Whitewater, Waterkeeper Alliance, Food and Water Watch, Colorado Ocean Coalition, Glen Canyon Institute, Save the Colorado River Delta: Sonoran Institute, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Grand Canyon Trust, American Rivers, Citizens for Dixie’s Future, Great Basin Water Network, Redford Center: Watershed Move, Planning and Conservation League, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Heal The Bay, Surfrider, Nevada Conservation League, Earthjustice, Western Resource Advocates, and Defenders of Wildlife.