In the Backdrop of the 2021 All-Star Game in Denver, MLB and Rockies ‘Play to Zero’ for Colorado Rivers

DENVER, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Following this past July’s MLB All-Star Game in Denver, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the…

DENVER, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Following this past July’s MLB All-Star Game in Denver, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Colorado Rockies have partnered with Green Sports Alliance, Change the Course, and Colorado Water Trust to help protect the future of water resources in Colorado and the American West. After the Colorado River’s driest 12-month period on record, the partnership will focus on restoring 30 million gallons of water to the critical 15-Mile Reach, a key stretch of the Colorado River that supports endangered fish, vital ecosystems, and downstream communities.

«MLB is committed to reducing our league’s water footprint and restoring watersheds that our sport thrives on,» said Paul Hanlon, Senior Director of Ballpark Operations and Sustainability for MLB. «We are excited to work with Change the Course and the Green Sports Alliance to support and incentivize water conservation across all 30 of our clubs and their communities.» 

The volume of water restored to the watershed is equivalent to the estimated season total of the Rockies and Coors Field, establishing the first «net zero water» MLB venue in the league’s history. Balancing the entire water footprint of the 2021 season also qualified Coors Field to receive the first-ever «Net Zero Water Champion» recognition from the Green Sports Alliance as part of their new Play to Zero initiative.

«MLB and the Rockies have set the bar for how flagship sporting events can raise awareness for local priorities and truly play for the future of our pastimes,» said Brett Blumberg, Director of Events and Analytics for the Green Sports Alliance and Project Manager of Play to Zero. «We applaud the leadership of the MLB All-Star Game and could not ask for better partners to help us usher in a new performance-driven era of the green sports movement.» 

Play to Zero has been developed in collaboration with Arc, a technology company owned by Green Business Certification Inc. The initiative has set out to move the sports industry to net zero energy, net zero water, and zero waste by improving environmental performance, supporting boots-on-the-ground community efforts, and engaging fans to act. Supporting launch partners include MLB and its 30 clubs, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, the Pacific-12 Conference, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and Lumen Field (home to the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders).

«The Colorado River, the lifeblood of the West, is experiencing drought conditions we have never before witnessed, and we are pleased that the Green Sports Alliance is mobilizing the sports industry to act with urgency,» said Sara Hoversten, Director of Change the Course and Business for Water Stewardship for BEF. «In balancing the water footprint of the season and supporting water restoration on the Colorado River, MLB and the Rockies are demonstrating their understanding of the necessity of healthy, flowing rivers for our communities. We hope to see more teams, leagues, and their fans joining in support of our water resources now and into the future.»           

The partnership is encouraging baseball fans and all individuals to join the fight for Colorado’s water resources by:

  • Decreasing your personal water footprint with simple everyday actions
  • Joining the Rockies by living a net-zero lifestyle by balancing your personal water use today
  • Learning more about Colorado Water Trust and how you can help restore flows to Colorado’s rivers in need. Colorado Water Trust’s 15-Mile Reach project is in collaboration with Grand Valley Water User’s Association and Orchard Mesa Irrigation District.

To learn more about MLB’s commitment to environmental stewardship, please visit MLB.com/green.

About Green Sports Alliance 

The Green Sports Alliance leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where people live and play. The GSA inspires professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices. Visit greensportsalliance.org for more information.

About Change the Course

An initiative of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Change the Course, brings together corporations, conservation organizations, and the public to raise awareness about freshwater, reduce water footprints, and ensure clean and reliable water for rivers, commerce, and communities. To date, Change the Course has facilitated funding between 65 diverse companies and 69 NGO partners across 130 water stewardship projects in 22 US states, Canada, and Mexico. Learn how to get involved today at changethecourse.us.

About Colorado Water Trust

Colorado Water Trust is a home-grown, statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to restore flows to Colorado’s rivers in need. Since 2001, we have restored over 13.5 billion gallons of water to 588 miles of rivers and streams across the state. We work collaboratively with local, state, and federal partners so that our projects benefit both the people we work with and our rivers. We lead broad collaborations and generate innovative solutions that work for all our different partners and, at the same time, restore our state’s landscapes and support the health of our environment.

To support 15-Mile Reach, CWT secures water from an upstream reservoir and ensure its protection through the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Rivers on to the Grand Valley Power Plant on the Colorado River. There it will be used for hydropower generation, producing clean energy for the region, and then be released back into the Colorado River at the head of the 15-Mile Reach, boosting flows to support important endangered, native fish habitat, as well as the communities, recreation, and agriculture downstream.

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SOURCE Green Sports Alliance