Come For a Ride Down the Colorado River!

This past August, as I floated down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with the Google Street View team, I couldn’t help but think how incredibly awesome it would be for people all around the world to be able to take that same trip “virtually.”  Well, that day has arrived, and I am excited to be able to relive the journey down the river with Google Street View.

When American Rivers listed the Colorado River as #1 on our list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® last year, we knew that we would need to help people connect with the river in new and special ways.  This partnership with Google has allowed us to take river exploration to the next level.

Now my son will be able to learn about rivers in his classroom and have virtual river adventures between lunch and social studies class!  Students in urban communities will benefit greatly, as their exposure to nature is often more limited.  This opportunity to see what it would be like to float down a river and see massive canyons all around you with giant waves splashing in your face will be a fantastic treat.

At American Rivers, we are always looking for ways to connect people to rivers that they may not ever have had the opportunity to visit.  Google Street View will allow us to foster cross-country relationships between people and rivers that were never before possible without an in-person visit.

In this digital age, it is critical to find new ways for people to relate to, and experience, nature.  While the ultimate goal is to get people outside to see the real thing, platforms like Google Street View can show people what they are missing and inspire new trips to see special places.  The only way to save special places is for people to care about saving them.  We are hopeful that this new tool will allow us to connect people with rivers and each other through the shared experience of travelling a virtual river.

So, I encourage you to take some time to float down the Colorado with Google Street View, and see the magnificence for yourself.  The beauty of rivers should be something that anyone anywhere can experience.  Now, thanks to Google, that is possible.