In 1998 a coalition of stakeholders, ranging from local governments and federal and state agencies, to businesses and interested individuals, banded together to protect the water quality and ecologic health of the Upper South Platte Watershed through the cooperative efforts of watershed stakeholders, with emphasis on community values and economic sustainability. They formed the Coalition for the Upper South Platte as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit.
With funding from a 1999 Environmental Protection Agency grant, CUSP undertook a Data Inventory and Assessment (DIA) that was designed to: 1) Identify and document available data sources about issues in our watershed. 2) Identify and rank existing and potential sources of pollution. 3) Assess water quality and stream health within the watershed. 4) Prioritize areas for potential protection and restoration activities.
The DIA became the backbone of a strategic planning process, and provided the vision for CUSP to undertake work in the watershed.