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It’s official! Marcel Gaztambide is your Animas Riverkeeper! We’re thrilled to have him on as a full time advocate for the Animas Riverkeeper. He’ll be harnessing the expertise of over 300 other waterkeepers around the globe through the Waterkeeper Alliance to engage our community around the issues most critical to the Animas.

We’re throwing a party to celebrate! Join us on September 14th from 5-7 pm at the Rochester Hotel Secret Garden for live music, light appetizers and a cash bar. Meet Marcel, let us know what river issues you most care about and find out the latest research and work being done to restore and protect the Animas. See event details.

Below is our full press release on the launch of the Animas Riverkeeper. Check out our Animas River page to learn more about the work we are doing.

San Juan Citizens Alliance Launches Animas Riverkeeper®

Will advocate for clean water, safe recreation and accountable water management


Durango, CO – San Juan Citizens Alliance partners with Waterkeeper Alliance, a global movement uniting over 300 Waterkeepers, to launch the Animas Riverkeeper. Marcel Gaztambide, the recently appointed Animas Riverkeeper, will be a full-time advocate for the river, working to protect and restore the Animas River ecosystem, ensure safe, reliable access and promote democracy in water resource management.

“As the Animas Riverkeeper, my aim is to provide strong advocacy to improve the quality of life for everyone who relies on the Animas River, whether for drinking water, recreation, agriculture or those who simply value the river’s health,” says Marcel Gaztambide. “Our program will provide a platform for people to engage with river issues, voice their concerns, and celebrate our region’s most important resource.”

The 2015 Gold King Spill, which memorably transformed the river into an opaque mustard hue, heightened the region’s awareness of the watershed’s most damaging threat. In addition to mobilizing public involvement and engaging in the Superfund process at the newly designated Bonita Peak Mining District, the Riverkeeper will be working to expand safe recreational opportunities and watchdog management of the river’s water.

Although San Juan Citizens Alliance has worked on protections for the Animas River for many years, the launch of the Animas Riverkeeper greatly amplifies the organization’s capacity and commitment to ensuring the health and responsible use of this outstanding river. “Waterkeeper Alliance is thrilled to have San Juan Citizens Alliance as the eyes, ears, and voice for this vital watershed and community,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Every community deserves to have swimmable, drinkable and fishable water, and San Juan Citizens Alliance is the right leader to fight for clean water in the region.”

San Juan Citizens Alliance is hosting an Animas Riverkeeper Launch Party that will take place on September 14th from 5-7 pm at the Rochester Hotel Secret Garden. It is free and open to the public. There will be live music, light appetizers, a cash bar, and lots of folks who care about the Animas River.

Media Contacts:
Marcel Gaztambide, Animas Riverkeeper, San Juan Citizens Alliance, or 970.259.3583 ext. 6
Mark Pearson, Executive Director of San Juan Citizens Alliance, or 970-259-3583 ext. 1


About San Juan Citizens Alliance:

The San Juan Citizens Alliance advocates for clean air, pure water, and healthy lands – the foundations of resilient communities, ecosystems and economies in the San Juan Basin. For more information, visit our website or engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About Waterkeeper ALLIANCE:

Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement uniting over 300 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and focusing citizen advocacy on issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. Waterkeepers patrol and protect more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

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