The Rio Grande is both literally and figuratively the lifeblood of the desert Southwest. Countless fish, wildlife, and plants survive in and along the Rio Grande and human communities depend on this great river for their physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
But as climate change continues to ravage the American West, it is exacerbating existing problems of unsustainable water use and outdated water management structures. These issues are not new, but we’re running out of time to solve them.
During our next WildEarth Webinar on Wednesday, July 14 our guests will discuss how each of these crises—serious on their own—represent a threat to the Rio Grande like never before and how we might chart a new course to ensure a living river for generations to come.
Gabriel Vasquez is a first-generation American and serves as a city councilor in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He’s the founder of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project and has more than a decade of experience working on public policy and advocacy. Vasquez is an avid hunter, angler, hiker, and dedicates much of his professional career to social justice and creating outdoor equity. He grew up catfishing on the banks of the Rio Grande and calls the borderlands his home.
Jen Pelz has been Guardians’ Wild Rivers Program Director since 2013, striving to breathe new life into the endangered rivers of the American West. Jen grew up in New Mexico exploring the mesas of Albuquerque, fishing and camping along the Pecos River, and wearing her father’s waders to fish the Conejos River near Platoro every summer.
The collision of crises threatening the Rio Grande requires bold and immediate action—the Rio Grande and all the life that depends on it is far too valuable to lose.