County’s RiverSmart program kicks off |

County’s RiverSmart program kicks off

Cliff Thompson
A global grassroots water-quality campaign called RiverSmart is aimed locally at educating residents about damage to the Eagle River, pictured above flowing through Minturn.

“We have a great awareness of quantity,” said Caroline Bradford, director of the Eagle River Watershed Council. “We want everyone to pay greater attention to the quality of the river.”

RiverSmart is part of a 12-year-old global grassroots sustainability effort by Swiss Re, a multinational insurance agency, to educate people about their individual role in creating and preventing water pollution.

Bradford said the local RiverSmart campaign will be financed by a $6,000 grant from Swiss Re. It will feature English and Spanish advertising messages on TV and radio, in print and on local buses.

Water quality issues literally begin at home, Bradford said. Common household practices such as dumping solvents and other substances down the drain, or failing to fix an oil leak in a vehicle, can have a detrimental effect on water quality, she said.

Studies show a quart of used motor oil dumped down a storm drain can create an oil slick 23 acres in size.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

A National Geographic Society river poll shows American have a low “river IQ,” because they lack basic knowledge about rivers and fail to recognize that rivers and streams are all part of an interconnected system.

Nearly two-thirds of American wrongly believe water is a renewable resource, the study states.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or

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