Nominate a River Hero

River Network is accepting nominations for 2020 River Heroes through October 8, 2019. To submit a River Hero nomination, read the instructions below and submit the online nomination form at the bottom of this page. Late submissions will not be considered for recognition. Any questions regarding the River Heroes award can be directed to Carly Schmidt at or 720-930-4914.

Nomination Guidelines


Each year, up to five individuals are selected as River Heroes and are honored and celebrated at River Rally. Awardees are exceptional due to their significant and extraordinary work related to river conservation and/or water advocacy. Their achievements relate to the key issues fundamental to solving today’s water crisis and expanding our understanding of the evolving social context of water. River Network employees and board members are not eligible to submit nominations or to be nominated. 


The River Heroes Award recognizes individuals working for healthy rivers and clean water who: 

  • Go above & beyond the call of duty in their commitment to river conservation and/or water advocacy, 
  • Bring people together to solve water problems related to the key issues, 
  • Seek solutions that are inclusive and equitable, and 
  • Inspire and help others to make a difference. 

Nomination Instructions

The nomination materials listed below must be submitted through the online nomination form by October 8, 2019. Please do not send any materials outside of those listed below as they will not be used in the River Heroes selection process. Late or incomplete nominations will not be considered. The nomination form, located below these nomination guidelines, will allow you to save, and continue later. The online nomination form requires: 

Required Information
  1. Your nomination justification, including:
    1. Background information: introduce the nominee with a relevant and brief biography;
    2. Contextual information: describe the river/watershed in which the nominee works (e.g., size, water uses, unique features, facts), the surrounding community, and/or the water issue that most demonstrates their leadership and success;
    3. Accomplishments: the event(s), program(s) or project(s) for which the nominee deserves recognition; and
    4. Award Qualifications: address the ways in which the nominee meets the River Heroes criteria, above.
  2. Three (3) letters of support from members of the community. Each letter should provide the supporter’s information and describe their relationship to the nominee. Letters of support should address the ways in which the nominee meets the River Heroes criteria and be representative of the community at-large. Letters of support might come from members of congress, local decision makers, key community partners, etc. Letters should be uploaded to the online nomination form on official letterhead as PDF files.

Review Process

River Heroes are nominated and selected by their peers. The River Heroes Selection Committee is comprised of past awardees and other water leaders. Nominators are ineligible to join the selection committee. 

Award Recognition

The 2020 River Heroes will be notified of their award by November 15, 2019. River Heroes will be honored and celebrated on Saturday, May 16 at the Awards Reception and Celebration at River Rally in San Antonio, Texas. River Heroes are given time to remark on their experience and achievements during the ceremony. River Hero awardees also receive a hand-made plaque of commendation, acknowledgement in River Network publications, and a complementary 1-year premium membership for their affiliated organization.