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Watershed News

Colorado Town Appoints Legal Guardians to Implement the Rights of a Creek and a Watershed

January 12, 2024

“In 2021, Nederland town took a step in that direction when it issued a nonbinding declaration recognizing that, within town limits, Boulder Creek and its watershed were “living” entities possessing “fundamental and inalienable rights,” such as to exist, to be restored and to provide an adequate habitat to native wildlife such as black bears, bobcats, brown trout and giant pine trees.”

2023 Boulder St. Vrain Watershed Art Contest Winners

Over 100 kindergarten through 12th-grade students in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts prepared art pieces for the Boulder St. Vrain Watershed Art Contest this fall, and the winners were announced Wednesday.

Ongoing CU research explores impacts, solutions after Marshall Fire

December 21, 2022

“Julie Korak and Cresten Mansfeldt, assistant professors of environmental engineering, partnered with colleagues across campus, local community organizations and municipalities to collect surface water samples from the Coal Creek waterway shortly after the fire. Operating out of the back of their cars, Korak and Mansfeldt started sampling on Jan. 2, 2022, with the help of student volunteers…Collaboration with local municipal governments and watershed groups like the Keep it Clean Partnership has also led to the development and release of a dashboard detailing all of the results from the campaign, which the team will update through 2023.”

Boaters take caution: Invasive, easy-to-spread plant found in Boulder Reservoir

September 9, 2022

“A tiny piece of a fast-growing plant floating in the Boulder Reservoir has heightened concerns among wildlife officials about the invasive species that’s known to disrupt aquatic ecosystems and affect drinking water quality. It’s the first new detection since 2020 of the noxious aquatic weed that the state has been working to control for more than 15 years.”

Boulder County partners win $1 million grant for forestry work

July 20, 2022

“A $1 million grant will help protect water supply and reduce risk of wildfire in Longmont and Boulder County. The St. Vrain Watershed has long been recognized as a vital landscape that is at risk for catastrophic wildfire due to overly dense forests and increasing drought.”

Fire, flood and pollution: How Boulder Watershed Collective navigates a network of concerns in its mission to keep local water sources clean

June 13, 2022

“What we learned from thinking about things holistically was that we had to be thinking about the streams in conjunction with the upper watershed,” MacHamer said. “We can’t really function within property boundaries. We have to think about what the land needs first and then think about those boundaries.”

Boulder, Partners Launch Natural Climate Solutions Campaign “Cool Boulder”

April 28, 2022

“Many of the actions called for in natural climate solutions —tree planting, installing shade-creating pollinator-friendly gardens, or building low-tech structures that retain water in our landscapes — can be accessible to most community members and create economic opportunities.”

Why Boulder is investing in forest thinning to protect the city’s water sources ahead of the next fire

May 23, 2022

“One of the biggest risks of wildfire — outside of flames welcoming themselves, uninvited, into our neighborhoods — is its potential effect on water quality. Ash and sediment from burn sites happily ride rainwater downhill to clog stream channels and lower water quality for all those downstream.”

Wildfire is among the biggest risks to Boulder’s water supply. How is the city protecting its streams, creeks and reservoirs?

May 20, 2022

“In semi-arid climates like Boulder’s, fire plays a pivotal role in the decomposition process. Nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus and carbon are released from burned flora as a gift to future generations. But that gift can’t be enjoyed if rain washes it from the landscape. Indeed, when moved from its place of origin, remnants of fire quickly become a bane to those downstream.”

As “forever chemical” concerns mount, Colorado lawmakers move to ban product sales

March 24, 2022

“The sale of many products containing the dangerous “forever chemicals” known as PFAS would be banned in Colorado as early as 2024, under legislation to be introduced this week and backed by a host of consumer and environmental groups.”

What the Marshall Fire can teach us as we prepare for future climate catastrophes

January 25, 2022

“It’s not just wood that’s burning in a suburban fire: It’s homes, vehicles and all the stuff in them: fabric, plastics, electronics, batteries, you name it. Those remains and the compounds created can find their way into local water systems. When a fire is quickly followed by rain or snow, as was the case with the Marshall Fire, concerns about contamination are even higher.”

Mines outside Nederland install new water treatment facility after being issued violation

January 25, 2022

“A couple of months after being issued a state water quality violation, the Cross and Caribou mines outside Nederland have installed a new water treatment filtration system that is fully operational.”

How fire today will impact water tomorrow

July 29, 2021

“CU Boulder Today spoke with Professor Fernando Rosario-Ortiz, an environmental chemistry expert who studies how wildfires impact water quality; and Assistant Professor and CIRES Fellow Ben Livneh, a hydrologist who studies how climate change affects water supplies and how fires and rain influence landslide risk, about how fire may shape the future of water in the West.”

Despite population growth, development boom new study finds Boulder County’s water quality remains good, but not great

January 23, 2020

“Despite the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently proposing several segments of Boulder County’s waterways as impaired, data collected by the Keep It Clean Partnership, which coordinates water quality monitoring for seven municipalities in Boulder County show the region’s water quality has remained relatively stable over the last five years.”