Marañón Waterkeeper is a community lead organisation working to protect the Marañón River in Peru in its natural, free flowing state, as well as protecting the greater Amazon below.
The Marañón river is the second longest river in Peru and is considered the hydrological source of the Amazon. The terrain it covers is as diverse as it gets: from countless jungle gorges to cutting right through the Andes in canyons as narrow as 3 meters, to the section known as the Grand Canyon of the Amazon. The River is 1600km long. The first 800 km stretch of whitewater flows through dry desert-like terrain, in a canyon that is up to 3000 m deep on both sides – over twice the depth of the Colorado's Grand Canyon. Where the Marañón enters the flat Amazon basin it creates islands and meanders through an immense forest-covered plain home to Awajún and Wampis indigenous tribes.
20 hydroelectric mega dams are proposed / planned along the Marañón, of which 5 already have a concession. These dams would turn the 900km of white-water into a series of stagnant reservoirs, alter silt deposition into the lower river, disrupt the major source of the Amazon, block passage of migratory fish species and damage habitat of all aquatic life. Further these projects will displace thousands of residents along the river and damage the national treasure that is the Grand Canyon of the Amazon.
Using all possibilities to save the river
Marañón Waterkeeper is doing incredible work to protect their river: creating educational campaigns in local communities to inform the people living in villages along the river, assisting local activists and fire up their resistance. They are also buying land to create conservation areas to block dam construction, and support research on the Upper Marañón.
The Free Rivers Fund is supporting the Marañón Waterkeeper for the second year now. In 2018 they impressed us a lot with their work and we are happy to continue our co-operation!