Clif Flowing Rivers Grant Awards for 2017

posted August 9, 2017
by Mark Singleton

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American Whitewater is proud to announce the two affiliate recipients of the 2017 Clif Flowing Rivers Campaign: The Upper Colorado River Private Boaters Association and Bluegrass Wildwater Association! Each group will receive a $1,250 grant to go towards their respective stewardship projects.
 
Upper Colorado River Protection - Upper Colorado River Private Boaters Association
The Upper Colorado River Private Boaters Association (UCPBA) is a local advocacy group working to protect and ensure recreational opportunities on the Upper Colorado River and its tributaries. The UCPBA was formed in 2014 as an affiliate club of American Whitewater dedicated to the health of the upper Colorado River and to those who share a passion for the water. Along with AW, the UCPBA is a member of the Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholder Group (SG or Stakeholder Group) and a voting member of the recreational floatboating interest group (chaired by American Whitewater), representing local private river user interests in SG negotiations. The Stakeholder Group is comprised of representatives from state and federal agencies, local governments, conservation interests, landowners, municipal water providers, and recreational interests such as paddlers and anglers. Support from Clif Bar and American Whitewater will provide the Association with resources needed to maintain its involvement in the Stakeholder Group and serve as one 1/6 organizations that make up the Recreational Floatboating Interest Group. With this funding, the UCPBA would be able to more consistently engage in the recreation interest group and increase support for AW efforts to protect the Wild & Scenic River Values and the interests of recreational paddlers in the Upper Colorado River.  It is the goal of the Stakeholder Group to permanently protect and enhance the Colorado River’s W&S Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs), water project yield, and flexibility for water users. Diverse interests are represented and recreational paddlers have an equal vote in the decision-making framework. This funding will help the UCPBA ensure the W&S values of the Colorado River have a consistent, coordinated, and strategic voice.
 
 
Elkhorn River Clean Up - Bluegrass Wildwater Association
With its high cliffs and scenic waterways, the Elkhorn River in Frankfort Kentucky is a beautiful example of rivers in the Central Kentucky region. The home river of the Bluegrass Wildwater Association, the Elkhorn River has also been used as a convenient dumping ground by the local community for everything from bait containers to automobiles. Although the river has been the site of several clean-ups, the basic problem remains; the public still believe it’s ok to dump trash in the Elkhorn. Over time, one thing we’ve noticed is that the clean ups are mainly involving the same groups and as a general rule, out of the view of the general public. Our plan is to change that. Our plan is to not only clean the Elkhorn, but more importantly to change the public perception of the Elkhorn River itself. We will be involving people that are not normally involved, local businesses, both local print and television media and local branches of the government. We want to address the problem where the problem exists, in the local community, and by involving the local community, over time, change the perception of the true valve of this local resource. The plan is simple. Start an annual event involving local business from specific industries that will provide teams of workers to clean up the Elkhorn. Make it fun, make it a team building exercise for the businesses, and make it a competition between the businesses to see which company’s teams can find and remove the most trash.
 
Thanks again to all the affiliate groups who participated in this year's grant process. Most of all, a huge thanks goes out to Clif for sponsoring this wonderful opportunity in support of grassroots river stewardship!