Celebrating 30 Years and The Future of Our Network

River Network was founded thirty years ago to strengthen local efforts to protect rivers. Over three decades our focus has remained remarkably consistent: We connect people to save rivers. That simple tagline belies a tremendous amount of action to protect and restore waters across the country, particularly at the local level. Today this network is over 6,000 strong.

As backbone to this network, we educate and empower champions to effectively engage their communities, influence decision makers, assert their opinion on policy change, and translate strategies from our national network into local solutions for healthy rivers and clean water. Every day, thousands of these local champions are working across the U.S. Take a moment to meet our network and learn their stories.

River Network began by helping river and watershed organizations expand protections for pristine rivers. Since then our ambitions, leadership, and programs have evolved to align with our understanding of what rivers need to remain healthy, the challenges of a changing climate, and significant shifts in the social, political, and economic context of water.

While remaining committed to bolstering local groups and grassroots efforts, we now build coalitions across sectors—uniting NGOs, tribal nations, government agencies, and businesses to achieve bigger impacts. We support groups focused on urban flooding, partnerships between farmers and ranchers and conservation groups, and programs that support a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive water future. And we connect businesses with local projects and groups that help them achieve their corporate water stewardship goals with direct, community-level impact.

With our new five-year strategic plan launched this year, we offer a blueprint for harnessing the power of our network to catalyze action on four key issues fundamental to solving today’s water crisis:

  • Clean, safe, affordable drinking water
  • Flood- and drought-resilient cities and communities
  • Healthy rivers in agricultural landscapes
  • Robust and effective water laws and policies

The strategic plan spells out the importance of our leadership at the intersection of water and equity, diversity, and inclusion. You can read more about our commitment and our mission, vision, and values in the About Us section of our website.

We are grateful to everyone who has been part of River Network’s path. Our network and its connections to communities and leaders across our country are a powerful force for good. This is a pivotal moment for us, a time when local solutions offer the best promise for progress and greatest hope for our future. As we step into this next chapter, we do so with appreciation for where we started, where we stand today, and where we will go next in partnership with everyone who cares about clean water and healthy rivers. We invite you to join us on this journey.