Implemented in 1996 after the first historic “Flood Flow,” Adopt-a-Beach is a “watch dog” program that allows volunteer guides to keep close tabs on changes to the recreational resource that we depend upon – camping beaches in Grand Canyon. To be specific, this long term photo-matching, beach monitoring effort documents changes in sand deposition on camping beaches along the Colorado River resulting from Glen Canyon Dam flows. The results are disseminated to strategic river managers including Grand Canyon National Park, the Adaptive Management Program, and the Grand Canyon Monitoring & Research Center. Adopt-a-Beach is a fabulous example of a stewardship in action as we endeavor to “take care of our own back yard.” Please check out our extensive photo gallery as well as the Executive Summaries of past AAB reports. Full Reports are available upon request. And contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to volunteer!
Increased erosion to beaches in the post-dam era and guides' concerns for better resource management led to this volunteer monitoring effort. During a commercial river season, guides document a sample set of about 40 beaches by using 35-mm, disposable cameras. Photographs are taken from designated locations overlooking their adopted beach and a data sheet is filled out every time the guides go down river. Results are analyzed by a qualified scientist, and conclusions are presented to pertinent resource managers and the public.
An EXAMPLE of a selected beach at Salt Water Wash
An EXAMPLE of another beach at North Canyon.
How We Can Make a Difference
Big beautiful beaches that support a wide variety of native species are part of the unique camping experience in Grand Canyon. Sediment-laden flood flows build and maintain beaches, prevent over-population of non-native plants and keep on-going erosion in check. The lack of such flows in the post-dam era have encouraged beaches to dwindle in number and size while hosting rampant growth of non-native plants.
Through the AAB program, the guides become stewards of the Colorado River corridor and can show hard evidence of changes to beaches over time. If beaches are continually wasting away, we lose a valuable resource and GCRC makes a lot of noise to resource managers.
We Need Help!
Whether you are a commerical guide or a participant who is interested in preservation of Grand Canyon, you can help. We ALWAYS need guides to adopt a beach for a river season. Other folks can donate to Grand Canyon River Guides and specify where their donation should go.
Need More Info? See the executive summaries below.