March 2009 - The Colorado River

Mar 22, 2009

Day 17 in the year 2009, starship Cessna 1XE embarks on an EcoFlight supporting friends working on a National Geographic Project.

CO river delta

Colorado River Delta. (c) Bruce Gordon, EcoFlight 2008.


This project is ambitious in scope and prophetic concerning the West's most precious resource...water.  Many conservation minded sponsors such as the Sonoran Institute are anxiously awaiting the proposed books from this project outlining the challenges to the main artery of the water system of the West, a river known as the American Nile-if only because it is the most litigated and diverted waterway in the world.

Jon Waterman, award-winning author of nine books, set out to Kayak the entire Colorado River in summer of 2008 and just recently completed this historic trip.  On the way he passed thirteen dams, countless diversions, and studied issues such as pine beetle infestation, exotic fish and plant invasions, endangered species, water shortages, polluted water, agriculture and metropolitan water needs.  He also conducted countless interviews related to the ongoing drought and changing climate.  The information and insights he is bringing back are much awaited as we face the concerns and problems of water in the West in coming decades-predicted to be as great a crisis here as the rising oceans will be upon the coastal regions.  

Pete McBride, award winning photographer from National Geographic was aboard as we flew our ship low and slow over many of the features of the waterway called the mighty Colorado River that runs 1,450 miles, starting at over 10,000 feet from Poudre Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park and exiting our "planet" just before making it to the Sea of Cortez in the Colorado Delta.  A majestic journey influenced by climate and most of all humans. Look for these exciting books and associated articles with images taken from our Ecoflight "star ship."  A short television film about the project will appear on PBS "Wild Chronicles" the week of April 27, 2009.  The rest of Pete and Jon's media will be released in spring and summer of 2010.