Forever Our Rivers Foundation (FOR) awarded $25,000 in grants this Friday to organizations connecting communities to their rivers. This grant cycle focused on improving river health in the southwest through projects ranging from stream habitat improvement and maintenance to engaging youth in education and providing public access to waterways.
The ten projects funded
are largely run by organizations based in Colorado but include regional efforts
from organizations such as Brown Folks Fishing and Casting for Recovery. “Our foundation
is committed to engaging communities to enjoy, conserve and protect our rivers,”
says Forever Our Rivers Executive Director Joe Neuhof. “We have a growing network
of River Health Partners, centered in Colorado and working out into the West and
eventually the nation.
Our goal is to raise over
5 million dollars over the next 5 years by helping our Corporate
Partners and their customers
support clean water and healthy rivers. That money will fund boots‐on-the-ground
nonprofits, which are key to getting rivers healthy and keeping them that way.”
Forever Our Rivers’ funding
program is one-of‐a-kind, bringing businesses and nonprofits together to help make
rivers and communities healthier. With ongoing support from the Walton Family Foundation,
dozens of corporate partners, and a network of over 25 nonprofits, the foundation
is growing quickly and earning some high-profile praise.
“We are proud to support
and partner with the Forever Our Rivers Foundation in developing a sustainable river
funding model,” says Peter Skidmore with Walton Family Foundation. “The Forever
Our Rivers Model is the best bet to provide reliable and sustainable funding, as
public and philanthropic sources often do not meet long‐term needs to protect and
restore healthy rivers.”
Organizations funded include: Brown Folks Fishing, Casting for Recovery, Colorado West Land Trust, Four Corners Water Center, Friends of Youth & Nature, Institute for Environmental Solutions, Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, Roaring Fork Conservancy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and River Science.
Forever Our Rivers Foundation works with companies to support organizations and communities working to enhance river health. One of these companies, PrairieFood, has developed an innovative technology that treats feedlot wastes for use by farmers to improve soil health and agricultural productivity while reducing nutrient loads in waterways. They asked us an interesting question: How are all the closed restaurants, bars, and brew-pubs going to dispose of all of the keg beer that goes bad during Covid-19 closures? Canned or bottled beer normally has a shelf life of several months, and a lot of it is standing by in breweries, distributors, and your favorite local haunts.
Historically, excess beer, milk, or other food
waste was often dumped directly into rivers. Such practices are really bad for
rivers and are now illegal. Beer can decimate water quality. The bacteria that
grow to decompose, i.e. feed on, the beer demands so much oxygen that they use
it all up, leading to fish kills. It’s hard to believe, but beer needs around
250 times more oxygen to decompose than raw untreated municipal wastewater,
what some call sewage.
times, restaurants and breweries know what to do with excess beer. They work
with the local wastewater treatment facility and state agencies to decide on
how to dispose of it. It may be to stage incremental disposal for larger
volumes to prevent overloading treatment centers or to send it to a specialized
disposal facility. In some states, beer can be sprayed directly onto
agricultural land, used as an amendment for composting facilities, or, more
recently, used to make hand sanitizer.