2014 Annual Report
25 Years Strong, Shaping Our West
For over 25 years, Sonoran Institute has been a pioneer in efforts to unite and celebrate the best of Western culture, history, nature and urban spaces by making connections, seeking practical solutions and promoting long-term sustainability. View and download our 2014 Annual Report to see all that we've done up through 2014 and what we plan on doing as we move forward.
Time for Bold Action - We Need Your Help
Please fill out the form at the bottom of the letter and a copy will be emailed to Secretary Salazar under your name.
Dear Secretary Salazar:
We need your help. We write to ask for your personal attention to help protect and restore one of North America's most valuable ecosystems: the Colorado River Delta.
Upstream water diversions from the Colorado River have reduced what was once two million acres of wetlands to less than 10 percent of its original size, and have nearly eliminated the Delta’s estuary. Native plants and wildlife areas withered from the lack of water, and many formerly prolific animals and wildlife are rapidly disappearing.
On a human scale, the drastic changes have forever altered life for several indigenous communities on both sides of the border. At this point, the very cultural survival of the Cocopah Indian Tribe in the U.S. and the related Cucapa Tribe in Mexico - who once thrived in the Delta - is in jeopardy.
As Secretary of the Interior, your decisions have important implications for ensuring that there continues to be water for life in the Delta.
The last 20 years have witnessed a significant increase in cross-border partnerships and collaboration in an attempt to restore the magnificence of the Delta region. More recently, both countries have found ways to improve binational cooperation in the management of the Colorado River, including the first-ever agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to jointly deliver water to the largest and most important wetland in the Delta, La Ciénega de Santa Clara. This important collaboration across borders must continue! Protection of the Delta is an issue that transcends international boundaries.We ask that you take a leadership role immediately to ensure that the two countries reach a new binational agreement this year (2011) that would dedicate permanent and sufficient Colorado River flows to the Delta in order to ensure its survival.
Many opportunities have already been identified to conserve water that could be re-dedicated for environmental purposes. These opportunities must be embraced and supported by both countries.
Your leadership to secure this water is vital to:
- Supporting healthy populations of freshwater and marine wildlife species in the Delta region.
- Ensuring the viability of the Pacific Flyway – an important stopover for more than 300,000 migratory birds and critical to the survival of several threatened and endangered species.
- Providing a lifeline for local cultures – the Cocopah in the U.S. and the Cucapá in Mexico continue to be inextricably linked to the health of the Colorado River and its Delta.
- Achieving a vision for a healthy Delta ecosystem that provides recreation and economic development opportunities for people and communities on both sides of the border.
Thank you for your consideration and willingness to lead on an international issue of vital interest to all Americans.
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