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Victory in the Delta

May 16, 2014
Colorado River meets the Gulf of California waters for the first time in decades. Sonoran Institute with aerial support from LightHawk

Colorado River Reunited with Gulf of California

Five Years and over 100 Donated Flights Pays off for Public Benefit Flying Group

LightHawk celebrates history being made as the Colorado River finally meets Gulf of California waters for the first time in many years.

Since 2009, LightHawk has flown over a hundred flights to support on-the-ground work of our partners including Sonoran Institute (SI) and Raise the River. LightHawk has donated flights and professional services to the restoration effort valued at more than $115,000. Meanwhile, several volunteer pilots have contributed their aircraft and expertise to this herculean effort without charge.

LightHawk provides flights in the Delta that bring the remote reaches closer to decision-makers, media and community members. These flights were critical in energizing the push to restore this remarkable ecosystem and publicize the benefits of nurturing this neglected area.

“From the air, it all starts to make sense,” says Francisco Zamora Arroyo, Director of Sonoran Institute’s Gulf Legacy Program. “Parcels of seemingly fragmented land miraculously stitch together. With the help of LightHawk, we are able to see the Colorado River Delta as a whole. While our projects cover many parts of this region, it is from the air that their connections are truly understood.”

LightHawk flights provide a critical component in measuring and monitoring the renewal of the Colorado River Delta. In a restoration effort that spans ecosystems and borders, the aerial perspective provided by LightHawk informs Sonoran Institute’s long-term restoration strategy and allows a comprehensive understanding of this complex natural system.

LightHawk changes the way we see the earth by leveraging a network of 200 volunteer pilots to provide more than 400 flights each year. LightHawk is empowered to donate flight support to conservation groups elevating their efforts both literally and figuratively by our generous volunteer pilots, foundations, and corporations, and caring individuals like you.