River Network Programs
We envision a future when every person knows their watershed and is an active caretaker of their local river, lake, stream or bay. We work for a day when all people, fish and wildlife have access to clean, plentiful water.
Making this vision a reality hinges on River Network’s thousands of national, state and local partners working together to meet four goals:
- A vibrant grassroots movement of citizens, organizations and decision-makers has
the capacity to protect the long-term health of rivers and communities.
- Clean, flowing rivers support rich habitat both for a diversity of fish, birds and wildlife both in the water and on the land.
- Healthy river systems free of pollution provide clean water for everyone to sustain our health, ensure enjoyment of rivers, and stop environmental injustice.
- Impacts of climate change are reduced and river health improved by more effective and efficient use of water and energy.
River Network advances its work with an unwavering focus on five core principles. We:
- Lead our network by listening to and empowering our partners
- Advance bottom up and top down connections between grassroots advocates and national leaders
- Work across political jurisdictions to focus on nature’s boundaries and hydrologic cycle
- Use sound science to inform model political, social, economic and environmental decisions that can be replicated for larger impact
- Amplify the political power of local grassroots groups and alliances for collective action.
Our River Leaders Program seeks to keep river conservationists informed - via webinars, publications, trainings and annual River Rally conference - of the most relevant, helpful and inspiring strategies, techniques and resources available to nonprofit river and watershed conservationists.
Rivers & Habitat
Through the Rivers and Habitat Program, we help people:
- Learn about practices, strategies, and laws for protecting water quality and habitat;
- Decide how best to adapt them to their situation; and
- Use these tools to protect and restore local streams and lakes.
We also demystify laws like the Clean Water Act so that citizens can be effective voices for clean, healthy lakes, streams and wetlands.
Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities
The Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities program links community groups with regional resource experts to help these groups investigate, understand and take action to address community health problems related to pollution. River Network program staff provides guidance to our community and resource partner pairings to assist them to:
- Organize and develop a solid constituency
- Investigate links between human health problems and pollution
- Identify hazards and exposure routes
- Monitor contamination levels
- Research the known health effects of contaminants
- Understand the basics of toxicology and epidemiology
- Conduct Health Surveys
- Develop campaign strategies and action plans based on the data collected
Rivers, Energy & Climate
The use of water and energy resources drives increasing greenhouse gas emissions across the world. These two resources cannot be “conserved” or “developed” without impacting one another, and thus cannot be effectively managed separately. The impacts of the water and energy decisions we make today will determine whether we create a “water crisis” that will only compound the existing energy crisis, or whether we move to a more sustainable future.
The Partnership Program provides individualized support, up-to-date information and trainings to dues-paying members. River Network Partners immediately tap into the best thinking the watershed movement has to offer. We are here to help groups effectively and efficiently carry out their individual mission.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The strength of our movement lies in working and sharing together. Despite our many challenges, this is truly a time of opportunity to better protect our home waters.
River Rally 2012, the largest gathering ever of clean water advocates, is now history. More than 750 NGO, agency and business leaders convened in Portland on May 4-7 for a memorable and invigorating four-day event.
Your investment in River Network today is urgently needed.
River Network created and supported a Peer Learning Network of 18 local groups leading “climate response” efforts in their communities.
River Network conducted a 50-state analysis of how generic “Nationwide Permits” issued by federal regulators create loopholes that are resulting in the piecemeal destruction of wetlands and the filling of streams. We shared our findings with river advocates and
policy makers throughout the U.S. and are now using the report to work in-depth with groups in five states to limit wetland and stream losses.
With your help, we will continue to help state and local groups across the country make winning moral, technical, legal and political cases for clean water. Our nation's rivers, fish and wildlife will be better for it. Our children and grandchildren will join us in thanking you!