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This Year, Give to the River (Part 1)

Hello from Futaleufu!

On behalf of the Futaleufu Riverkeeper team, I hope you and your families are enjoying a great year. Many of you asked for more information on what’s going on down here, so this is the first in a series of three letters. I’ll be talking about the success stopping dams on the Futaleufu, how you can get involved this holiday season, and why our community needs you.

We’ve also posted a private video message from our Riverkeeper, Rocio Gonzalez. Here’s the link to view the private message Feel free to forward to friends or family you think might like to see it.

First, thank you so much for your continued support and interest! 2016 was an historic year for Patagonia’s threatened Futaleufu River. Thanks to your help, a 20-year fight to stop the dams ended when Endesa renounced its water rights to the river. News circulated around the world, even getting a shout-out from Leonardo DiCaprio.

So many people have been involved in the last 20 years. It's impossible to thank everyone in a letter (or three). But you know who you are! Our annual report in January will include a list of our supporters, including those of you who choose to make a matching gift this week. 

This year, as you’re deciding which causes you and your family want to join, I ask you to please give to the river. From now until Sunday, December 4th, every dollar you give will be matched by our generous board and donors.* And for gifts of $200 or more, our friends at Patagon Journal will give you a one-year digital subscription. The latest issue, Rivers at Risk, has pieces from several Riverkeeper collaborators like Natalia Ibañez, a native of Futaleufu.

As Rocio says in her video, this has been a great year for our community, but we still have a lot to do. Now more than ever, your gift will help Futaleufu become a model village in Patagonia.

Part II of this Letter will look at key stats, people who went the extra mile in 2016, and why your gift will make a difference heading into 2017. Stay tuned tomorrow! In the meantime, I've included the major stories below in case you didn't see them before.

We hope you’ll continue to keep this beautiful watershed in your thoughts. We are fortunate to protect such a unique piece of the planet, and we look forward to continue defend our communities right to clean water.


Patrick J. Lynch, Esq.
International Director
Futaleufu Riverkeeper

*Matching is for all gifts up to $5,000 US. To qualify for a match, you must write Futaleufu when giving through Waterkeeper’s online donation form. Full instructions are on our Donation page. Thank you for your support this #GivingTuesday!

Chile's Best Whitewater Rivers Won't be Dammed - For Now
Outside Magazine's Grayson Schaffer broke the news about Endesa relinquishing its rights to dam the Futaleufu. " They’re literally just giving up and exiting these watersheds,” says Patrick Lynch, staff attorney and international director at Futaleufu Riverkeeper, a nonprofit offshoot of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance....  

Read the Article on Outside Online
Chilean Actress Juana Ringeling Congratulates Futaleufu
Chilean actress and activist Juana Ringeling sent out a congratulatory video to the people of Futaleufu. The post includes her call to change the paradigm in Chile and pass water code reforms that will help end the privatization of rivers. Juana, who currently lives in L.A., is beloved in her home country. With over 40,000 views the clip has officially gone viral! Nothing like some celebrity support to help draw attention to such an important issue. Juana has also been tweeting the news and is very active in causes in Chile. Thank you Juana!

You can also follow Juana's Instagram or Twitter.
A 20-Year David and Goliath Fist Fight
The Kennedy family have fought for decades against corporate greed and the privatization of water rights. This piece by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. talks about dams and democracy in Chile.

This is worth the read for anyone who wants to know the fascinating story of how Chile's rivers were stolen from the people, and how we're gonna get them back.

Click here to read A History of Democracy and Free-Flowing Rivers, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (pictured to the right at The Explorers Club in April 2015, giving a speech about the Futaleufu. Photo by Lacy Kiernan.)
Leonardo DiCaprio sharing the News with the World!
Too often, communities like ours face an uphill battle trying to protect our homes. The story of the Futaleufu is an inspiration not just for other communities around the world but also for prominent environmental advocates. This is what Oscar-winning actor and activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, had to say about the news:

" Inspired by these activists who accomplished a huge victory for Patagonia’s Futaleufu River. They’re a great example of what a few people can do with dedication."

Click to see the post and learn about DiCaprio's other causes here. 
Cautious Optimism over Endesa Decision - Patagon Journal
¨Futaleufú Riverkeeper executive director Rocío González called Endesa's surprising move a victory for everyone who lives near the Futaleufu River in the Palena province of Chile. “We now call upon the government and policymakers to listen to the people and agree that our rivers are important enough to protect permanently.¨ ....
Read on Patagon Journal

You might be far away, but your support this year could never be more important. This holiday season, please give to the river and unite to save the Futaleufu. You can also share this email with your network and encourage them to give. Click here if you would like to make a gift.

Thank you! - The Futaleufu Riverkeeper Team (Rocio, Patrick, Cecilia, Natalia, Jens, Paulo, Jane, Ivo, Pia and Dani)
Futaleufu Riverkeeper | 914.357.4837 | |