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Preserving Grand Canyon's Life Force

Colorado River Management, Climate Change and Resource Stewardship

There is no Grand Canyon without the Colorado River.

Rafting on the Colorado

What if the Colorado River had never existed? Without the river, there would be no Grand Canyon, nor would there be the fantastic, ecologically diverse national park known and loved by millions worldwide.

The Colorado River is as important today as ever, serving as a life force that continues to shape Grand Canyon National Park in many ways. Yet, many aspects related to the river require management or stewardship. Several valuable archeological sites are located near the river. These need to be surveyed, assessed, and cared for, often in consultation with members of the 11 tribal communities that call the Grand Canyon home.

The river also attracts legions of visitors. Trails near the river become degraded, and fragile native vegetation is sometimes trampled. Park staff must monitor campsites and mitigate user impacts. Tens of thousands of visitors raft the river each year. In addition to assessing how human activity affects the environment, park staff, and scientists must also conduct research to understand the impacts of climate change on the river ecosystem.

Read more about the impact of Climate Change on the Colorado River 

This valuable work needs your support. You are crucial in helping Grand Canyon National Park staff manage, monitor, and steward the Colorado River.

Why the Future of Grand Canyon is at Risk

View this story map created by American Rivers

Grand Canyon Moments: Colorado River

Take a moment to learn why we are working diligently to protect the Colorado River. 

Your impact: A thriving Colorado River ecosystem

Your generous gift will:

  • Allow park staff and scientists to monitor how river hydrology, geology, and paleontology resources have been impacted by visitor use, climate change, and Glen Canyon dam operations.
  • Enable crucial logistical support, including data collection and tribal consultations, for surveying and documenting impacts on archeological sites near the river.
  • Allow park staff to survey and mitigate visitor impacts at campsites and trails near the river.
  • Enable scientists and staff to conduct a long-term visitor use research project to ensure safe and valuable experiences for river users.
Ed keable grca headshot min

Ed Keable

Superintendent Grand Canyon National Park

“The Colorado River means everything to Grand Canyon National Park. It provides life for plants and animals and carries tremendous cultural significance for the 11 tribes traditionally associated with Grand Canyon. Your help caring for the Colorado River positively impacts every aspect of the park.”


Contact us to receive more information about this project.