Conservation Innovation Update: 4th Qtr 2011

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Conservation Finance Forum:
A Tale of Two Rivers
December 8, 2011

~This was an online event.~

This Webinar featured two remarkable conservationists who have spearheaded multiyear efforts to bring highly degraded North American rivers back to life:

  • Bob Zimmerman of the Charles River Watershed Association (slides)
  • Francisco Zamora of the Sonoran Institute (slides) (video)

Recording- View the multimedia recording of the Webinar.

Bios -  Read about the presenters and moderator.

Resources - Links to online resources related to this event.

This discussion was moderated by Jim Levitt, Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University. It is part of a series hosted by the Conservation Innovation Forum (with assistance from the Government Innovators Network), highlighting several topics of keen interest to the U.S. and international conservation communities.

Bob Zimmerman,  Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), discussed how the Charles River Watershed Association helped revitalize Boston’s landmark river, winner of the 2011 International Riverprize.

Francisco Zamora of the Arizona-based Sonoran Institute, examined ongoing, outstanding efforts to restore water, wildlife and a vibrant multicultural community to the Colorado River Delta region that spans the U.S.-Mexico border.

Reclaiming the Charles


The achievement of the Charles River Watershed Association in bringing international acclaim to a place once known to rock-and-roll fans as Boston's "dirty water" was widely covered in the local media. Coverage by the Boston Globe features comments by former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and others. A local National Public Radio Station, WBUR, conducted a lengthy interview with Zimmerman and a regional EPA administrator when the International Riverprize was awarded. For links to those stories and and more, visit:www.crwa.org/events/RiverPrize.html#Slideshow.

Saving the Colorado Delta

Working in the Colorado Delta for several decades, a coalition of organizations in the public, non-profit and academic sectors have made substantial progress in bringing the entire region back to life. Key resources needed to understand the transformative work that is ongoing are available from the Sonoran Institute Delta webpage, from the Colorado River Delta Research Coordination Network (RCN) site hosted by the University of Arizona, and from a wide variety of other public, non-profit and academic sites gathered on the RCN's Resources webite.

In addition, several very clever social marketing campaigns are bringing the Colorado River Delta story to the public's attention. Perhaps the most memorable of those efforts features a photo of some bare-backed protesters holding aloft signs spelling out "Save the Colorado." The campaign, sponsored by several for-profit and non-profit organizations, including the New Belgium Brewing Company, the Patagonia Clothing Company and the National Geographic Society, offers a variety of multi-media resources at www.savethecolorado.org.