Our Story


A watershed is another word for a river basin. It’s an area of land that drains into a common body of water. Do you ever wonder where rain and melting snow goes when it washes down the drain in the parking lot? In most of Eagle County (including the towns of Vail, Minturn, Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum), this water flows into the Eagle River through one of its main tributaries: Homestake Creek, Cross Creek, Gore Creek, Black Gore Creek, Brush Creek, Gypsum Creek and Lake Creek. From its headwaters on Tennessee Pass, the Eagle River flows 77 miles before joining the Upper Colorado River at Dotsero.

The watershed has an annual flow of 415,000 acre feet of water. The Eagle River Watershed covers 970 square miles, and is composed of hundreds of tributary streams, approximately 120 natural lakes and eight reservoirs. These streams supply the water for all of Eagle County’s population, as well as several Front Range communities.

Our Purpose

The Eagle River Coalition advocates for the health of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River watersheds through research, education and projects. We strive to protect and enhance the high-quality natural, scenic and economic values that our rivers and tributaries provide to the citizens, visitors and wildlife of the Eagle River and Colorado River watersheds located in Eagle County.

Our Mission

Healthy, protected stream and river environments in Eagle County are available for all to experience and enjoy, and constitute one of our most treasured natural resources. Rivers and streams support healthy aquatic and upland ecosystems, and local water resources are sustainable. Local citizens and visitors appreciate the contribution of healthy natural waterways to economic well-being, clean drinking water, robust agriculture, high-quality recreation, healthy wildlife populations, and scenic vistas.

Our Vision

Preservation and enhancement of the natural values of the watershed to leave a conservation legacy for generations of citizens and guests yet to live in or visit Eagle County and our extraordinary river systems.

A proactive approach to education and conservation through projects and relationships with public, private and governmental entities that support our vision and mission. An understanding that all of our actions in the watershed are interrelated.

Land uses, transportation, recreation, water projects and public access must be mindful and long term in the design of their footprint and impact on the waterways and riparian areas of the watershed if we are to successfully preserve this

Our Values