Meet Your Network

Meet the heroes safeguarding water for our families and communities. We invite you to get to know some outstanding water champions taking action for clean water and healthy rivers from coast to coast.

  • Matt Rota Healthy Gulf
    “I was going to a meeting and came to the realization that if I wasn’t doing what I was doing, no one would be doing it. We’re just vital in building and maintaining the movement and giving communities resources.”
  • Bailey Kennett Arizona Land and Water Trust
    “Often, there’s finger-pointing toward the agricultural community… These accusations aren’t going to move us forward for the health of our rivers. Being inclusive and understanding can be really productive for river conservation.”
  • Tom Vaughan Rio Grande International Study Center
    “I consider myself first and foremost to be an educator, but in order to educate people about anything you need to know something about it.”
  • Amanda Pitzer Friends of the Cheat
  • Nancy Pappas Headwaters at the Comal
    “We’ve been able to open up this area to the community and get another level of engagement where it’s not just about tubing and recreation but really understanding where this water comes from and how important it is to protect it.”
  • Nayamin Martinez Central California Environmental Justice Network
    What we try to do is not only criticize and call out the wrong that is happening, but also come up with solutions.
  • Kevin Jeffery MRV Architects
    “As a young person, you can push boundaries because you haven’t done this work before. Don’t be afraid to break the rules.”
  • Harold Thomas Watershed Management Group
    “What I would suggest to a local organization trying to initiate some local partnerships is to let the community guide the vision and think big!”
  • Aly Shaw Pittsburgh United
    “There are so many voices at the table, which makes us more powerful in speaking on the behalf of entire communities.”
  • Kim Gaddy Clean Water Action
    “When you work in this kind of collaborative group, with individuals who have specific expertise and knowledge, you can hear their stories and it helps shape your own message.”
  • Rachel Conn Amigos Bravos 
    “The arid Southwest is severely impacted by the Dirty Water Rule and New Mexico would be the most negatively impacted state in the country.”
  • Kristin Reilly Choose Clean Water Coalition
    “Working on the communications side of the environment, you always hear the bad stuff. It is so important to focus on the progress we are making, despite setbacks.”
  • Amanda Monaco Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
    “We are currently working on bringing the communities we work with to the table because they have the most to gain and the most to lose from these groundwater management plans.”
  • Stephen Hawkins Interfaith Earth Network
    “We can adapt to climate change through technology, but an agricultural community in a 2-year drought needs change now. These issues cannot be addressed over a few generations.”
  • Adam Marciniak Friends of the Black River
    “I go to the river to get away from the busy world, and I don’t like seeing trash as I recreate. Through this journey, I am learning why cleanups are important outside of beautification reasons.”
  • Brenda Coley Milwaukee Water Commons
    “I think the water world believes in the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion, but often they don’t fully understand know how to implement it.”
  • Juliana Gonzalez The Watershed Project
    “Water is a human right, but we do not often think about ways to protect the resource in a holistic way.”
  • Cindy Chang Groundwork Denver
    “I see it as my responsibility to do whatever I can to make sure we have enough water and clean water for future generations.”
  • Cindy Lowry Alabama River Alliance
    “We have been working for several years on an Alabama Water Plan that will help ensure that our water supplies are affordable. It’s a slow-going process, but we continue to push forward.”
  • Kira Davis Conservation Resource Alliance
    “In the traditions of my Odawa tribe, women that take care of the water. Once I learned that, I found that this was a completely natural profession for me. And it is less a profession than a part of who I am.”
  • Ruby Buchholtz Tualatin Riverkeepers
    “Viewing water as an entity, with legal rights, instead of property or a product could not only improve water quality and access to clean water, but it would alter how we view the natural world and how we protect it.”
  • Season Martin Martin & McCoy
    “I see systems that were designed 100 years ago during a time focused on development of the West, and at this point these systems need to adapt to the current cultural desires of where we want to see western society go.”
  • Shane Wright Lincoln Hills Cares
    “I stood up at community meetings to say, to anyone who would listen, that we had not accomplished the goal of fishable, swimmable rivers that was established in the 80s.”
  • Nicole Messacar LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District
    “It is my goal to create these informed citizens who are engaged in their community and can make informed decisions, as adults, about what they have learned.”
  • Bob Zimmerman Charles River Watershed Association
    “We changed the nature of the debate when we started collecting data and doing research. We knew more than consulting firms, municipal authorities, and regulatory agencies.”
  • Monica Lewis-Patrick We the People of Detroit
    “In 2014, thousands of homes were shut off to water and I realized that water is a human right. I started working in Flint in 2015 and recognized the critical need to protect all water sources.”
  • Cary Denison Trout Unlimited
    “Having the ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders, often those who don’t have the river’s best interest in mind, has been a rewarding accomplishment.”
  • Raj Shukla River Alliance of Wisconsin
    “Being a conservationist and devoting your life to water isn’t easy or lucrative. It’s really hard work. Being a part of this community is a big part of how we sustain our own energy and hope while doing this work.”
  • Melinda Booth South Yuba River Citizens League
    “Working at a community level is a great place to start, but we should keep the bigger context in mind. It’s going to mean change in the usual practices of consumption, especially in the United States and in other privileged countries.”
  • Julia Blatt Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
    “Getting three rivers in Massachusetts designated as Wild and Scenic is something I am proud of. It really takes a village to accomplish something at that scale.”
  • Tillie Walton River Conservationist and Strategic Environmental Consultant
    “I would love to see policy changes that help us recognize and appreciate the value of water, not only ecologically, but also in terms of economics and prioritizing water conservation instead of water waste.”

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