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Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative

A community-driven initiative focused on supporting and maintaining a healthy river corridor and the associated needs, uses, and values for generations to come.

Photo by Devon Balet

Many Values, One River

The Grand Valley’s River Corridor extends from De Beque, Colorado to the Utah state line; it also encompasses the Gunnison River from Bridgeport to the confluence with the Colorado River. The river corridor is the lifeblood of the community and is a vital economic, cultural, and ecological resource that supports the Grand Valley’s well-being and prosperity. 

Given the diverse values supported by the river, the Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative was formed in 2020 to address the acute need for enhanced coordination, planning, and collaboration on river corridor-related activities. It is led by a Core Team with representatives from RiversEdge West, Colorado Mesa University, and American Rivers. An Advisory Council comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders (including local governments and municipalities in the Grand Valley) meets quarterly to advise on current objectives and processes. 


Promoting Sustainable Planning in Mesa County

As economic growth and development continues in the region, coupled with chronic and potentially worsening environmental stressors such as drought and fire, it is imperative to have a concerted effort in sustainable planning to ensure that the river corridor is managed to support its diverse values. 

The Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative has fostered discussions and workshops among stakeholders to identify shared values and challenges. These discussions identified priorities and actions for supporting smart, river-compatible activities so that in the years to come, we can maintain the quality of these benefits and enhance the economic resilience, health, and safety of our community and its natural landscapes.


At the Nexus of River Conservation and Responsible Development 

The Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative serves the Mesa County community by building a community-driven vision, goals, and plans to support the various needs, uses, and values of the river corridor. 

The planning efforts and the coordination provided by the Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative support a river corridor that works for all members and values of the Grand Valley community including community access to and use of this vital amenity, agriculture, tourism, development, environment, and health and safety. 


The Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative:

  • Engages river corridor stakeholder groups to identify common values, opportunities and challenges.
  • Develops strategies to address shared river corridors goals, objectives, and issues. 
  • Provides a platform and resource for river corridor stakeholders, fostering coordinated collaboration and implementation on river corridor planning and activities needs.
  • Provides tools for planning efforts including fluvial hazard zone mapping. 
  • Promotes community education and connection with the river.

How to Get Engaged: 

The Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative is an inclusive and ongoing process that welcomes community and stakeholder comments, concerns, and feedback. There are many ways to engage in this process, including through the Advisory Council as opportunities and conflicting interests arise. Stakeholder-driven conversations and problem-solving make for sound decision-making along our valuable river corridor. 

If you would like to get engaged or have questions, please contact a Core Team member: