Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee Members to Receive DOI 'Partners in Conservation' Award Certificates

Media Contact: Robert Walsh, 702-293-8456

For Release: October 25, 2010

On Tuesday, October 26, the Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Director, Lorri Gray-Lee, will present Department of the Interior "Partners in Conservation" award certificates to members of the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee (LVWCC) on behalf of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The certificates will be presented during the Committee's regular meeting, in the Las Vegas office of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Seventh Floor, Colorado River conference room, 100 City Parkway, at 8:30 a.m.

Since being formed in 1999, the LVWCC has worked diligently to protect, manage and enhance the Las Vegas Wash, a critical element in the overall environmental and water resource challenge facing southern Nevada.

During the 1970s, flows in the Wash fed about 2,000 acres of wetlands and provided habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Today, nearly 200 million gallons of water move through the Wash each day - an amount that can rise dramatically during severe flood events. The resulting erosion has carved the banks of the Wash, destabilizing the channel and increasing sedimentation in Lake Mead. Wetlands declined to less than 200 acres, and recent years have seen an increase in water quality concerns.

The "Partners in Conservation" award citation notes that, through the implementation of specific action items contained in a comprehensive adaptive management plan developed by the LVWCC, the partnership of local, state and federal agencies, environmental groups, business owners, and concerned citizens has ". . . collaboratively transformed an environmental blight into an important ecological resource for Southern Nevada," and created "one of the most unique wetlands parks in the country."

The Committee includes representatives from the general public; Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas; the Clark County entities of Parks and Recreation, Water Reclamation District, Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management; and the Regional Flood Control District. Also represented are the Clean Water Coalition; Colorado River Commission; Conservation District of Southern Nevada; Desert Wetlands Conservancy; Lake Las Vegas Resort; Las Vegas Boat Harbor; National Park Service; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Nevada Department of Wildlife; Nevada Division of Environmental Protection; Nevada State Health Division; Southern Nevada Health District; Southern Nevada Water Authority; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Geological Survey; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and the Bureau of Reclamation.

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