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New Belgium Brewing Flies the Delta

Sonoran Institute's Seth Cothrun and Francisco Zamora gave New Belgium’s Director of Sustainability Jenn Vervier a comprehensive overview of the Colorado River Delta restoration effort to help inform NB's philanthropic strategy towards the project. image: Greg Bedinger/LightHawk

LightHawk's longterm partner Sonoran Institute had been successful in raising support for restoring parts of the Colorado River Delta. These efforts culminated in a historic release of water to jumpstart life in the arid landscape. Now they faced the challenge of showing their backers the impact of their support, and making the case for what Sonoran Institute could achieve with increased investment.

An area of the Colorado River Delta slated for restoration. image: Seth Cothrun/SI/LightHawk

In mid-January, LightHawk's own Greg Bedinger fueled up for an early morning flight for over the Delta with Sonoran Institute. The goal of his flight was to promote informed decision-making for Sonoran Institute's corporate donor New Belgium Brewing Company whose commitment to sustainable watersheds was inextricably tied to their own bottom line.

Laguna Grande Restoration Site shows the impact of support for restoration efforts in the Delta by backers like New Belgium Brewing Company and other. image: Seth Cothrun/SI/LightHawk

The aerial tour complemented a ground tour, allowing participants to view the big picture of the area as well as see some the key components and achievements of the Colorado River Delta initiative. "The flight was excellent at showing the scope and scale of Sonoran's work in the Delta as well as the scope and scale of the potential work that can be done with more funding," said Seth Cothrun Director of Corporate Partnerships for Sonoran Institute. "The flight gave an excellent introduction to the area and helped later in the day with showing sites on the ground."

"The LightHawk flight was extremely valuable," remarked Jenn Vervier, New Belgium’s Director of Sustainability. " I quickly got a comprehensive understanding of the Colorado River Delta and it's ecological issues which wouldn’t have been possible traveling on the ground. I am now better able to communicate the challenges and opportunities to New Belgium’s philanthropy committee."

LightHawk joins Sonoran Institute at New Belgium Brewing Company's Mothership in Fort Collins, Colorado to celebrate Colorado River Day. Event details can be found here.