Engaging Youth in Pollution Reduction Planning in a Historically Disadvantaged Community on the South Platte River

  • Nora Flynn – Agricultural Water Specialist, Colorado Water Center, CSU
  • Blake Osborn – Water Resource Specialist, Colorado Water Center and CSU Extension
  • Nita Gonzales -Founder and Principal of Nuevo Amanecer, LLC. – Denver, CO
Colorado State University graduate student Nora Flynn competes in the Vice President for Research's Three Minute Challenge, February 12, 2018.
Co 11 Osborn
Co 11 Gonzales

Project Summary

This project aims to restore swimmable and fishable water quality standards to an impaired river while simultaneously training the next generation of leaders in collaborative conservation. The project will empower five CSU underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate students to engage with a collaborative community driven project to improve water quality in Denver and Adams Counties by reducing Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Segment 15 of the South Platte River.

The fellows will mentor and train the five CSU URM students in critical water issues, urban water best management practices (BMPs), and socioeconomic outcomes of urban conservation projects. Collaborators Shane Wright (Lincoln Hills Cares) and Paul Hellmund (El Laboratorio) have received funding to facilitate a community driven and co-created pollution reduction plan in Denver and Adams Counties.  The fellows, students and collaborators will engage with 40 members of the South Platte Community Stakeholder Group to gather water quality and socioeconomic data that will provide the research component of this community-driven pollution reduction plan.