Nuestro Rio seeks to save a river, a way of life and more than 750,000 jobs through the Southwest; Actress and philanthropist Celines Toribio welcomes guests

The following is being released by Nuestro Rio:







WHAT: A reception to kick-off Nuestro Rio, a national Latino-led campaign that seeks to preserve the Colorado River and its tributaries for generations to come. This national campaign to engage Latinos in this conservation effort is the first of its kind.
WHAT: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: The Source Restaurant
575 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
WHO: Actress and philanthropist, Celines Toribio will welcome and introduce the goals of Nuestro Rio to invited guests. Department of the Interior, Secretary Ken Salazar has also been invited to speak about his views of the Colorado River and the growing demands on the river’s resources.
WHY: Latinos have a rich cultural history connected to the Colorado River, and now the River and its tributaries are under threat.  The mighty River is drying up due to consumption, drought and climate change.  In fact the River no longer reaches Mexico’s Sea of Cortez as it had for millions of years.  
Latinos and other Americans in the southwest depend upon the River to sustain their way of life and bolster the economy through recreation and tourism. Nuestro Rio‘s goal is to educate decision-makers and the public about the need protect this lifeline in the West.  They have begun by collecting 10,000 Latino signatures on a letter to Sec. Salazar and other decision-makers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to urge action on this challenge.
Background: The Colorado River is the most plumbed river in the nation. So much water is taken out that the water rarely makes it to the river’s delta. Right now, the Bureau of Reclamation is reviewing the current water demands on the Colorado River for the seven states that depend on those waters for hydration, agriculture, power, and economic viability. However, the debate over water rights typically centers on drinking water, agriculture, and electricity. People forget that the Colorado River is the cultural and economic foundation for everyone who lives in the Southwest, and thus requires a focus on the environmental health of the river itself.
Nuestro Rio is a network of Hispanics in the West. As advocates for a healthy, sustainable Colorado River, we are educating our communities, the public and decision-makers about the history of Hispanics and the Colorado River and the need to preserve the legacies of 20 generations of Latino life in the Southwest.
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