Boulder Waterkeeper

Boulder Waterkeeper dedicated to preserving and protecting Boulder Creek, being an organizer and the primary advocate for watershed issues on the larger South Platte watershed in and around Denver and along the Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and illuminating and focusing attention on water related concerns and issues around the world.

Contact your Boulder Waterkeeper:

Ted Ross 303.579.7110

Boulder Waterkeeper Organization

Boulder Waterkeeper is a IRS 501(c)(3) licensed member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance:

Contact: Boulder Waterkeeper
P.O. Box 4263, Boulder, CO 80306
Email: BoulderWaterkeeper@gmail.com

Boulder Waterkeeper strategic premise

Being in the headwater state of Colorado Boulder Creek has a special perspective on how human influences can impact watersheds.  Boulder Creek is at the very intersection of the natural and urban environments and the community has a strong and significant historical heritage of environmental awareness and activism.

With this perspective Boulder Waterkeeper action strategy can leverage resources and environmental enthusiasm in Boulder to illuminate and focus attention on water related concerns and issues around the world.


Watershed communities

The watershed includes many towns and cities including Nederland, Boulder, Marshall, Eldorado Springs, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, and small pieces of Broomfield and Aravada. The environment includes high alpine tundra near 13,000 feet, through mountain canyons into urban areas at just above 5,000 feet. The watershed is historically significant during the gold rush era for mining activities, a key reason for the founding of the City of Boulder.

Watershed Issues

Our work will include issues defined by volunteer passion, funding opportunities and watershed risk assessments.  The initial list of issues we have identified that are threats to the watershed and that are important to the Boulder Creek watershed community include:

Water quantity concerns:

Gross Dam Expansion on South Boulder Creek
Barker Dam Safety and Barker Reservoir Use
CU South Floodplain Development
Instream Flow and Flood Mitigation

Water quality concerns:

Drinking Water Quality Including Chemicals and Taste
Microplastics and Microfibers
Stormwater Runoff
Human and Animal Waste
Mining Pollution
Agricultural Runoff
Rural Septic Systems
Municipal Wastewater

Urbanization and development concerns:

Eldora Ski Area Expansion
Retirement and Cleanup at the Valmont Coal-fired Powerplant
Homeless Use and Encampments in the Creek Areas and Parks
Population Growth and Urban Encroachment Along The Creeks
Recreational Use of the Creeks and Surrounding Parks and Open Space
Fracking and Oil/Gas Drilling


Boulder Waterkeeper VIsion

Boulder Waterkeeper is is a grass roots organization participating in the fight for every community’s right to drinkable, fishable, swimmable water.   In this fight Boulder Waterkeeper will:

1.  Educate and inform our community on water related issues.

2. Monitor, patrol and report on the status of creek and local incidents and provide an open portal to available public and private information on the status of the watershed.

3. Take clear points-of-view representing the ‘Voice of the Creek’ and advocate for and support other organizations that are working on issues that impact our watershed quality, quantity and long term sustainability.

4. Lead and manage selective campaigns that protect and preserve the watershed.

5. Build an alliance of concerned, committed and coordinated Watershed Advocates that will strive to preserve and protect Boulder Creek.

Boulder waterkeeper guiding principles

Rivers are the lifeblood of our planet’s ecological processes, as well as integral for the health and vitality of human cultures and economies. Keeping rivers clean and free flowing supports our human ecology and economy, as well as the source of life for all of the other non-human critters we share this incredible planet with. The Waterkeeper Alliance supports clean and free flowing rivers and waterways, including opposing new dams and diversions, mitigating dams where there is no other option, and removing dams wherever possible. We work across the planet to protect clean and free-flowing rivers, including the Boulder watershed.


Boulder Waterkeeper Leaders

Boulder Waterkeeper organization is led by individuals in Boulder Colorado with a distinct passion and enthusiasm for water, hydrological and ecological issues:

Ted Ross – Boulder Waterkeeper
Retired business strategy and technology consultant.  Watershed advocate.  SSI SCUBA Dive Master.  University of Michigan BSE.

Gary Wockner – Chair
Consultant to scientific, political, and environmental organizations.  River Warrior resisting dams and diversions worldwide.  Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper.  Save The Colorado. University of Colorado MS, PhD.  Author River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World’s Rivers.

Vicki Nichols Goldstein
Ocean protection organizer and advocate.  Executive Director Inland Ocean Coalition.  Founder Colorado Ocean Coalition.  Formerly NOAA.  Formerly Save Our Shores (SOS).  Yale University MS.

Watershed advocates

The Boulder community has a long and significant history of environmental activism.  Many individuals are focused on, committed to and have a significant history with the issues facing creek.  These local Watershed Advocates include:

Willie Culkin A native of southern New Jersey, Willie’s passion for rivers and watershed health started along Rancocas Creek and while exploring the rivers of the state’s Pine Barrens by canoe.  He came to Vail, Colorado in 1985 to, “check it out for a year” and never left. A thirty-year Boulder resident, Willie worked in the restaurant industry, then had long stints with Celestial Seasonings and IBM. He brings relationship-building skills and deep community ties to Boulder Waterkeeper’s outreach and education efforts.  Willie holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from CU Boulder and lives a few steps away from South Boulder Creek.

Art Hirsch  Environmental Engineer.  30 years of experience in the areas of water quality, stormwater management and engineering-sustainability.  Michigan State University BS Fisheries and Wildlife, CU Boulder MS Environmental Engineering. Clients include  Federal Highway Administration, Colorado and New Mexico Departments of Transportation, World Bank and USAID.  Technical expertise in Engineering sustainability,  Stormwater management (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4 permit, Regulatory compliance and auditing, Construction erosion control program development and training, Post Construction Revegetation management and training, Unmanned Aerial System monitoring and surveys, Climate change adaptation and risk management, Surface water management and watershed impact analysis, Analytical chemistry and data analysis.

Michael Thomason Director of Physics Learning Laboratories at the University of Colorado Boulder for thirty-eight years.  President of Emergency Family Assistance Association and on the boards of Boulder Youth Symphony, Physics Instructional Resource Association and Boulder Rights of Nature.  Active in social and environmental justice and the global transition to sustainability.  Enjoys live music, travel, trail running, weightlifting, cycling, kayaking and life on the west face of Starr Peak.

Wallace Westfeldt  Boulder native.  Fly fishing in Colorado for most of his life.  Kayak instructor, whitewater river guide, baseball coach.  Successful career in high-tech transitioned to time on the water in 2008.  Teaches Introduction to Fly Fishing classes and hosts Salt Water trips.  ‘My Dad took me fly fishing on the Roaring Fork when I was 8 years old.  Fifty years later, I’ve discovered helping folks hook into a fish with a fly rod can be as much fun as catching them yourself.’