WATER Club organizing Colorado River cleanup Saturday
It is time to think about the Summer Colorado River Cleanup on Saturday, August 8, in the Grand Valley. Find a boat, find a team and join the fun!
The Colorado River is an important part of the identity of Grand Junction as well as a contributor to the quality of life in Mesa County. With commercial outfitters, fishermen, locals and tourists all using the river, it is vital to keep it as pristine as possible.
This will be the 11th official river cleanup coordinated by the Western Association to Enjoy Rivers Club, but for many years prior to that, the WATER Club organized informal cleanups.
Are you compelled to participate in this year’s cleanup? There will be three crews cleaning the river from Corn Lake to the Loma boat launch. The first crew will put in at Corn Lake State Park and go to the Blue Heron boat ramp at the Redlands Parkway. The second crew will put in at Blue Heron and go to Fruita State Park. A third crew will put in at Fruita State Park and go to the Loma boat launch. If there is enough water in the river, a section may be added from Palisade to Corn Lake.
On August 8, each crew will meet at their respective put-in at 9 a.m. and organize a shuttle. There will be dumpsters at each take out provided by the City of Grand Junction, Town of Fruita and the Bureau of Land Management. The WATER Club does not supply boats, so you will need a raft, canoe or kayak and a tarp to protect the boat. Also, a bucket for sharp items is useful. Participants should wear sturdy shoes that can get wet, gloves and wear a life jacket.
The WATER club will supply trash bags, State Park entry tags, and beautiful t-shirts funded by 5-2-1 Drainage Authority. Amec Foster Wheeler will provide an appreciation BBQ at Canyon View Park at the “handball shelter” at the southwest corner of the park at 5 p.m. Donated items from Cabelas, REI and Edgewater Brewery will be given away by raffle.
In the past we have found a lost dog, a hot tub and even a kitchen sink. So be prepared for an interesting day!
You can sign up for a section of river at Whitewater West (418 S. 7th St.) 970-241-0441. You can also contact Bob Richardson at 970-261-5061 with questions.
While the river cleanup is currently the WATER Club’s main activity, the group has a long history of activities to help people enjoy rivers. The group was started in the early 1980s by a local sporting goods store when kayaking was first starting to get popular. When that shop closed, volunteers took over.
Projects included organizing the Westwater volunteer ranger program and working with public lands agencies to talk with local boaters about the paper permit system. Back in those days you couldn’t get information about permits on the web and the paper system was complicated, so they had meetings to educate folks about how to work their way through the system.
The WATER club was also instrumental in the proposal to try to get a whitewater park at the Price-Stubb dam near Palisade, which ultimately failed, and they helped organize against a major fee increase by Dinosaur National Monument because the fees wouldn’t have gone back to the river.
The WATER Club is currently organized by Dennis Adams and Bob Richardson.
This is part of a series of articles coordinated by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University in cooperation with the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables to raise awareness about water needs, uses and policies in our region. To learn more, go to http://www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter. You can also find the Water Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WaterCenter.CMU or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WaterCenterCMU.
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