(quoted from Summit Voice)

Anglers are a driving force behind many stream restoration projects in Colorado.
Anglers are a driving force behind many stream restoration projects in Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Trout Unlimited this week awarded a $4,500 Embrace-A-Stream grant to its Collegiate Peaks chapter in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. The chapter, based in Salida and Buena Vista, proposes to conduct assessment and stakeholders meetings for the South Arkansas River to create a plan for conservation and restoration of the entire river corridor.

This plan would act as the blueprint for future work conducted by the Collegiate Peaks Anglers Chapter and the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas by identifying projects that would improve fish habitat, stabilize banks, remove obstacles, restore native vegetation, and reduce negative impacts into the system. Many of these future projects would be in partnership with private landowners and utilize community volunteers.

“Through the Embrace-A-Stream grant program, TU volunteers are able to carry out our mission to help protect a America’s rivers and streams and introduce kids to fishing and conservation,” said Bryan Moore, TU’s Vice president for volunteer operations and watershed programs. “TU members have worked on restoring over 10,000 miles of streams in the last 50 years. Each restoration project makes a difference and helps protect these places for future generations.”

Embrace-A-Stream is the flagship grant program for funding TU grassroots conservation efforts. Funding is provided primarily through the support of TU members, with additional support provided by Costa del Mar and the FishAmerica Foundation. An Embrace-A-Stream Committee comprised of TU volunteer representatives and scientific advisors evaluates all proposed projects and makes the awards.

This year, the Embrace-A-Stream program will provide over $126,000 to 24 projects in 15 states.
Projects will address stream habitat restoration, improving fish passage and protecting water quality in rivers across the country. Projects included improving native fish passage in Idaho, Maine and Pennsylvania, as well as Rio Grande cutthroat restoration in New Mexico.

Since the program’s inception in 1976, Embrace-A-Stream has funded more than 980 individual projects totaling approximately $4 million. As a result of this funding from Embrace-A-Stream, the projects have leveraged more than $13 million in additional funding.

Trout Unlimited is North America’s leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization, with more than 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.