Audubon’s Western Water team is thrilled to announce the first round of small grants awarded to chapters.
Last fall the Western Water Initiative launched a grant program for chapters to support and elevate local work on western water issues. The West is a vast and complex geography that we can only protect by working together. As a collective, we can make positive changes that heal remote areas of the Colorado River, survey rural reaches of the Rio Grande, and advocate for the hundreds of miles of wetlands along Great Salt Lake. The Western Water chapter grant process creates more opportunities for this work and supports existing projects occurring locally.
Thank you to all that applied for this first round of funding. After evaluating a competitive and exciting pool of applications five chapters will receive funding. Here is a brief summary of those projects:
- Grand Valley Audubon Society (Colorado): Improving riparian forest and wetland habitat on their Audubon Nature Preserve in the heart of Grand Junction, CO. The chapter will convert old gravel pit ponds to productive emergent wetlands important to migrating waterfowl and shorebirds.
- Mesilla Valley Audubon Society (New Mexico): Working with local partner organizations to recruit and train a diverse subset of youth and young adults to participate in surveys monitoring bird response to riparian restoration along the Lower Rio Grande. The chapter will also publicize the benefits of healthy river habitat, effluent reuse, and community driven research on birds and river management.
- San Diego Audubon Society (California): Continuing their successful Sharing our Shores program to educate students, teachers, and families about the Salton Sea through classroom sessions and field trips. The chapter will grow this program by training community leaders in Imperial Valley to administer the program and incorporate local knowledge.
- Weminuche Audubon Society (Colorado): Studying the breeding success of American Dippers on the Animas River and other streams in southwestern Colorado. Surveys will monitor how the American Dipper is recovering after a 2018 wildfire burned portions of the Animas watershed potentially affecting habitat and food sources for the bird.
- Yuma Audubon Society (Arizona): A collaboration between the Cocopah Tribe, Northern Arizona University Yuma, and the chapter to restore four acres of riparian zones along the Colorado River, and develop students as activists and future leaders.
Look out for upcoming stories highlighting these chapter projects as they make an impact on water in the West. Timing for the second cycle of Western Water chapter grants will be announced soon. If you are interested in applying or want help in fleshing out a project, please reach out to your state Chapter Relationship Manager or Desiree Loggins, firstname.lastname@example.org