Blue River Watershed Group: Recipient of 2016 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Grant!

posted August 15, 2016
by Evan Stafford

article photo 4

Silverthorne, Colorado - American Whitewater is proud to announce that the Blue River Watershed Group in Summit and Grand Counties, will receive a $1,250 grant to support their stewardship project on Colorado’s Blue River. The Group is building community and financial support for construction of the Blue River Whitewater Course, to be located in the town of Silverthorne, Colorado.

The concept for a whitewater park on the Blue River gained momentum in the late 1990’s, as the Town of Silverthorne started planning a stream & fishery enhancement project to ensure that the Blue River remained a prominent recreational attraction. As those early discussions came to fruition, the Town of Silverthorne completed the Blue River Enhancement Project and applied for a Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD) for a whitewater park and a recreational water right for the Blue River just downstream of the I-70 Bridge and Dillon Dam. The State of Colorado approved an RICD in 2005, including a water rights decree. As envisioned, these tandem projects will highlight the river through town and provide an economic boost to the local economy, while demonstrating that angling and recreational boating can co-exist – even thrive!

The Course is envisioned as an approximately 600 foot long, three-drop whitewater park, located on the mainstem of the Blue River, within Silverthorne town limits, north of Interstate 70, between the overpass and the Colorado Highway 9 bridge. American Whitewater is pleased to be working with our local Affiliate Club on the Blue River, and to partner with regional stakeholders to protect and enhance the river and whitewater boating below Dillon Reservoir in Silverthorne. 

In 2008 AW worked closely with the Colorado Basin Roundtable to complete their assessment of flow-needs critical to supporting river health and recreation in the Upper Colorado River Basin, which includes this reach of the Blue River. Recreational Boating was identified as a key attribute in the assessment and AW is eager to support the Blue River Watershed Group's work to complete the Silverthorne Whitewater Park as an important step toward accomplishing our goals for the basin.