“The dramatic beauty of Futaleufú, its rivers, mountains and valleys has always given me a deep sense of humility and responsibility for preserving its pristine attributes. I am and will be forever grateful to cohabit this wonderful place and Futaleufú Riverkeeper has given me the opportunity to work directly in the protection of the Patagonia rivers” Rocio Gonzalez, Executive Director
FRK WORK TEAM | 2020
“Part of the development as a human being has to do with the responsibility of contributing to the care of the environment, culture and society. Being a member of the Futaleufú RiverKeeper Foundation team has that meaning for me, belonging to this inspiring project allows me to feel that I can somehow encourage people to modify behaviors and habits that add to the care of our ecosystem”.
FRK WORK TEAM | 2020
“I am motivated to be part of the Futakeeper team who has a strong commitment to environmental protection, and at the same time knowing that I can contribute from working on citizen participation, environmental education and recreation in contact with nature”
“Patagonia, for me, exists at the intersection of nature’s power and the human spirit. And if I could pick one place on Earth to return as a child, I would pick the Futaleufu River. Each time I visit, it reignites the energy, enchantment, inquisitiveness and awe of my youth. Every person should get that experience. My mission now is to make sure future generations get to reignite their youthful spirit on the Futaleufu River.”
“Rivers are an integral part of our finely balanced ecosystem. The Futaleufú river and its surrounding lands are some of the most powerful, beautiful and relatively untouched parts of earth’s ecosystem, and following my first visit to Patagonia, I knew I wanted to do everything I could to keep it that way. Patagonia, and the Futa, need to be left as nature (and not man) intended them to be, which is what motivates me to keep fighting for the Fu”.
“Living and working in Futaleufú taught me to think deeply about what it means to have a sense of place. We all grow up somewhere. We all have a home, whether we like it or not. We all have values we end up caring about. How we choose to defend our home and our values is a big part of what defines us.
The people in Futaleufú— people I’ve been lucky to work with— are choosing to fight. They are creating their own future, in the face of so many threats. Futaleufú is a wild and free town, fighting on the banks of a wild and free river. I’m motivated to support FutaRiverkeeper because it’s the best way I know to stand up for the values and the places I’ve come to love.”
“Human pressure over land-use is taking a toll on the composition and chemistry of our Earth, as we are now living in a new geological era titled the Anthropocene. As the name suggests, there are still a few places in this planet that are still left untouched, or relatively “pristine”, and Futaleufú and its surrounding areas is one of them. All of my efforts shall be placed to protecting the last wild places that remain, and Patagonia is my personal priority”.
It is made up of people from different territories, lovers of rivers and nature, who live with the strong conviction that we cohabit this planet and work with will to protect it.
We firmly believe in a world where people and communities have the right to participate in decisions that will affect their lives.
We monitor the basin and are alert to any intervention that negatively affects the health of the basin, we denounce, mobilize and take actions to avoid and face these impacts. We generate information that contributes to the strengthening and promotion of public policies that protect the rights of rivers and communities.
The Futaleufú Riverkeeper Foundation is a non-governmental organization founded in 2012, a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, which is an international network of defenders of clean water, who work around the world to protect the waterways of our planet and our fundamental right to a pollution free environment.
We are located in Futaleufú, in Chilean Patagonia, surrounded by mountains, rivers, valleys and ancient forests.
A monitoring plan is essential for any watershed that faces threats to water quality and ecosystem health. These threats come in many different forms— dams, waste dumping, infrastructure development, bad agricultural practices— but all can cause permanent damage to the watershed and the people who inhabit it. In near-pristine ecosystems facing rapid development, like ours in Futaleufú, the need to establish a water monitoring program is even more urgent. The monitoring program will establish a water quality baseline and act as the first line of defense in identifying and addressing emerging threats to the watershed.
The Water Monitoring Program is essential to help us achieve the following goals
Improve and better inform our ability to target specific conservation and policy measures
Actively engage the community in environmental management
Protect the watershed and community for future generations
STRENGTHENING THE SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL FABRIC
The whole community needs to play an active role in the sustainable protection and conservation of the watershed. In line with the Futaleufú Riverkeeper’s dedication to community engagement, this program aims to invite the community to be an active part of the conservation of local rivers and ecosystems. Cultivating a local sense of pride and ownership towards these spectacular landscapes, wild rivers and lush forests helps to create a common identity, and a sense of responsibility for the conservation of those assets.
The current socio-environmental situation is fragile, weakened by the lack of permanent protection policies for our territories, the sensitive energy market, climate change, the development of the extractive industry (mining, salmon farming, and forestry), the fragmentation of the territory, and the rising wave of unregulated tourism.
To protect our environment, it is essential that we predict and prepare for coming changes. We must carefully consider the delicate balance between sustainable development and conservation— recognizing that conservation in Patagonia includes not only the conservation of rivers, forests, and mountains, but of a unique local culture and deep personal connection to the land as well.
The Sustainable Development and Conservation program seeks to identify, design and implement zoning, mapping and research initiatives and to support local development initiatives, for the better appreciation of natural and cultural heritage.
The Futaleufú River is part of the transnational Watershed of the Yelcho River (map)
Trans-Andean hydrographic riverbasin of 11,600 km2, of which 6,929 km2 are in Chile. His diet is rainy. (I mean the source of water comes from rain)
The Futaleufú River, whose name means “Big River” in Mapuche language, is fed by the lakes of Los Alerces National Park in the Province of Chubut, Argentina, crosses the Andes Mountains towards Chile, flowing into Yelcho Lake, which in turn flows in the Pacific Ocean, in the Gulf of Corcovado.
Extension: 107 KM total, 70 km on the Chilean sideFlow varies between 360 and 735 mts3Main tributaries in Chile:- Chico River- Espolón River- Blue RiverThe town of Futaleufú has about 2,623 inhabitants, 27% of them live in rural areas (1). The most remote rural area is the Espolón Valley. Other places are Río Chico, Las Escalas, El Azul and La Dificultad, El Límite, Noroeste and Lonconao.
The Futaleufú River is one of the best rivers in the world for white water sports It is a glacial origin valley Temperate rainy weatherWe are surrounded by 5 protected areas (Los Alerces National Park, Futaleufú National Reserve, Corcovado National Park, Palena National Reserve, Pumalín Park)
We have the designation of Zone of Tourist Interest Cerro Teta is the highest mountain in Futaleufú and reaches around 1,555 m.s.n.m10 lakes and ponds, the most important of them are Espolón Lake, Lonconao Lake, Mirror Pond, and Yelcho Lake.
More than 155 km of rivers cross the Futaleufu area
Lydia Blanchet is a kayaker and river enthusiast hailing from Anchorage, Alaska. This year, she is working with FutaKeeper on a year-long fellowship from Dartmouth College with the goal of implementing a water quality monitoring program on the Futaleufú and Espolón rivers.
TEAM | 2020
Civil Engineer on Energy and Environment. “My concern and principal motivation is the sustainable development of communities with emphasis on environment care and the use of NCRE as a source of clean energy. That is why I am part of the volunteer team of Futaleufú Riverkeeper Foundation, to contribute with actions that helped with a friendly community development in harmony with their rivers and ecosystems”
TEAM | 2020
Civil Engineer on Energy and Environment. “I came from Santiago as a volunteer to work on the Futaleufú Riverkeeper Foundation, which gives me the opportunity to develop and apply my knowledge aiming to a sustainable development of the community in terms of energy use and its relation with the environmental quality of lakes, rivers and air. All towns and its communities have different visions and actions for their development and benefit, which is why making projects from, with and for the people is of vital importance to generate the well-being of the community focused on their cultural needs and values”