Call for River Rally Workshops

Rio Pueblo; Credit Rachel Conn

River Rally 2015 | Santa Ana Pueblo, NM | May 1-4

The deadline for submissions was October 9, 2014. Proposals no longer are being accepted.

Criteria, Themes & Guidelines | Preview the Proposal Application | Submit a Proposal

River Rally attracts a great diversity of conservation leaders, bringing new ideas for the best water resource protection strategies to participants, and revitalizing the commitment of those who attend to continue protecting the rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and estuaries they cherish.

Attendees with many years of community-based watershed protection experience cross paths with folks that are brand new to the movement. The structure emphasizes peer learning as well as engaging natural resource professionals to enrich discussions and to teach advanced topics.

We expect more than 400 clean water advocates from across the country, and River Rally provides an excellent opportunity to share your experience with a broad audience. Please review the guidelines and instructions below before submitting an application. Proposal Deadline is October 9, 2014

Workshop Criteria, Themes & Guidelines:

Presenters are allowed to submit more than one workshop proposal, but each proposal must be submitted separately. The ideal workshops will focus on a combination of instruction and hands-on-skill-building, not just lecturing. Workshops that are results oriented, focus on success stories or lessons learned, and provide strategies for improved management and stewardship of watersheds are encouraged.

Workshops are scheduled for 90 minutes blocks, with a limited number of 'intensive' 3-hour blocks (please do not confuse 'intensive' with 'long'). Ample time should be reserved for a question and answer session, or preferably, the entire session should be as interactive as possible. The size of the audience could range between 10-50 people.

River Rally 2015 will focus on the following 5 themes:

  • Water security and scarcity in a climate changed world: Climate change can have a profound effect on the water we depend upon, delivering too little water when we need it most and too much water when we are unprepared, resulting in risk to human lives and significant economic consequences. We would like to hear how climate change impacts your river and your engagement with your community. Are there new opportunities to work with cities, corporations, and other partners? Do you see water authorities seeking to increase storage? Are you pursuing strategies to protect floodplains and riparian areas to accommodate climate resiliency? How is climate change effecting environmental flows identification and protection? How can we activate our network for greater influence and impact? All perspectives are welcome and encouraged!

  • Solutions and innovations to deliver clean water: Polluted water has a nasty habit of finding its way to our rivers. Discharges directly into rivers from factories, mines, and sewage treatment facilities are common sources, but so too is runoff from city streets and urban areas as well as flowing from farms and agricultural activities. Coupled with new threats from energy development and other sources, contaminated groundwater is also finding its way to our rivers. How can we help our rivers remain as clean as possible? We invite you to share what is going on in your community, regulations that are making a difference, public engagement opportunities, enforcement actions, and other strategies to deliver clean water. We also welcome consideration of how we can activate our network for greater influence and impact.

  • Novel collaborations to expand impact and get to scale: Taking care of our rivers and the water that flows through them takes collective action. Always on the move, our waters touch so many beneficiaries and authorities on their way downstream. Although we may look upon this water from a variety of different perspectives, and even use different language to describe our interactions with them, uniting in stewardship can greatly expand our impact and the scale of our influence. Have you successfully navigated these waters? Who do you collaborate with to make a difference? What are the challenges of these collaborations or partnerships? How do you set and share goals and objectives? What have you accomplished that would not be possible but for your collaboration? Please share your approaches so we can all expand the impact of our work.

  • Organizational development for river groups and watershed organizations: Building healthy, financially sustainable, and long-lasting organizations is essential for taking care of our rivers. The people in contact with a river everyday are often the first ones to bring attention to concerns and challenges as well as opportunities for improvement. What are the essential ingredients for success? What is the role of business planning, goal setting and tracking for progress? How are you engaging volunteers to expand your capacity? How are you empowering citizens to advocate for your river? What are your fundraising strategies and what approaches have proved most successful? How have you evolved your organization to improve your impact or financial solvency? These are some of the topics we hope to cover.

  • Tribal opportunities and breakthroughs: Water is essential to life. It is part of our daily lives and embedded in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the products we buy, and the services we depend upon. Water is also part of the cultural traditions, identity, and rights of indigenous peoples and Tribal Nations. We invite submissions that explore the relationship between water, rivers, culture, and identity. What breakthroughs exist to protect tribal water rights, clean water, and healthy rivers? What are the key ingredients in these breakthroughs? What opportunities exist for collaboration among Tribal Nations or with water advocates? What can we learn from Tribal Nations that has relevance to grassroots efforts everywhere? We look forward to your suggestions to expand upon these topics.

Plus an Exciting New Partnership

River Rally 2015 is pleased to be working closely with River Management Society, and will offer an entire workshop track focused on river management. RMS is a national nonprofit professional organization whose mission is to support professionals who study, protect, and manage North America's rivers. The River Management Track seeks training and workshop sessions for planners and field staff that may include: developing and constructing river access for public use; river use capacity and permits; the process of hydropower dam relicensing; water law and water rights; multi-jurisdictional water trail development and collaborative management; climate-related challenges to river management; and programs that are integrating students and early career professionals into the systems that will impact rivers and their future. To apply for the RMS track, use the River Rally workshop application formand check "RMS" when asked to select a category.

Please keep in mind that workshops need to be informational, interactive, and transferable to other groups, regions and disciplines.

To be considered, all proposals must:
1. meet our guidelines described below,
2. be complete,
3. be submitted via our online form,
4. be submitted no later than October 9, 2014.


  • Presenters must register online for River Rally (registration will be available in January 2015).
  • There is a $300 registration scholarship offered PER WORKSHOP and not per presenter. One workshop = One $300 registration scholarship. Period.
  • All Presenters and co-presenters do get to register at the Partner Rate, regardless of whether they are a current dues-paying River Network Partner. This provides presenters with an additional discount of $200-$350 off registration, depending on number of days attending.

Q: Johnny submits a workshop proposal and River Network selects him to be a presenter. Johnny then invites Suzi, Jane, Joey and Luke to present with him. What is the total amount awarded to all the presenters for this one workshop?

A: One (1) person is eligible to receive the automatic $300 scholarship. All other co-presenters are welcome to apply for scholarships through River Network's general scholarship fund.

  • Presenters must be able to cover their travel/registration costs in excess of the available $300 registration scholarship. In limited cases, presenters may also apply for scholarships from our general scholarship fund.
  • If using PowerPoint, presenters must provide their own laptops.
  • Presenters must bring their own copies of handouts.
  • Presenters agree to encourage the completion of workshop evaluations.
  • Presenters agree (at least in theory) to respond to requests from the River Rally Coordinator - including - but not limited to - registering for the event and laughing at bad jokes.
  • Presenters must have amazing patience, a sense of humor and a go-with-the flow attitude.

River Network

  • River Network will inform all applicants of our final decision no later than December 31, 2014.
  • River Network can provide one presenter per workshop with a $300 scholarship off of River Rally registration. Eligible co-presenters are able to apply for financial support via the general scholarship process.
  • River Network will promote all workshops on the River Rally website and in the River Rally program.
  • River Network will provide the workshop room and all meet all reasonable requests prior to and at the River Rally.
  • After the River Rally, River Network will provide a summary of workshop evaluations to all presenters.

You must complete one form for each workshop being proposed. To preview the submission questions, please Click Here.