DNR Announces Michael Elizabeth Sakas as Colorado River Communications Specialist to Colorado River Team

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(DENVER) - The Colorado Department of Natural Resources announced the addition of Michael Elizabeth Sakas to the Department as a Colorado River Communications Specialist as the DNR builds out its Colorado River team. 

“We are extremely pleased that such an experienced and knowledgeable communications professional such as Michael Elizabeth Sakas agreed to join our growing Colorado River team,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Michael will play a key role in shaping our water communications and support Rebecca Mitchell, State of Colorado’s Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission, as the negotiations for managing Lake Powell and Lake Mead on the Colorado River get underway.”

The Colorado River Communications Specialist is a key component of the Colorado River Policy and Technical Support Team supported by Governor Polis and the Colorado legislature in the 2023 long bill. The interdisciplinary team from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Division of Water Resources and the Attorney General’s Office will provide communications, modeling, policy, scientific, legal and programmatic support to DNR and Rebecca Mitchell as the Colorado River negotiations commence in the coming months.

For more than 10 years, Michael has worked as a journalist in Colorado where she was born and raised. Michael’s deep connection to the region has fueled her passion for environmental storytelling in the West. She most recently worked for Colorado Public Radio as a climate and environmental journalist where she hosted the podcast “Parched.” The show explores the critical issues surrounding the Colorado River through stories of visionary individuals striving to preserve a vital resource for millions of people. 

As DNR’s Colorado River Communications Specialist, Michael will use her Colorado River expertise, media contacts and relationships to ensure the state is well positioned to provide communications and outreach as river negotiations progress in the coming years. 

Michael has a Master of Science in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.


Photo of Michael Elizabeth Sakas, Colorado River Communications Specialist at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources