Strong Champions


Strong Champions

Supporting local champions has always been at the heart of our work. Strong champions for our rivers come in many forms, from coalitions, to small and large organizations, to the leaders and members of these groups. This local leadership is critical to a future of clean and ample water in our rivers and watersheds.*

Today, there are wonderfully effective and dedicated champions like you making a difference across the country – people working to protect our few remaining pristine watersheds, to restore our many degraded ones, and to improve the rest. The work being done is as diverse as the groups performing it. The one thing we all have in common is a passion for America’s rivers, streams and estuaries. Together we can continue to build effective, sustainable, and results-oriented organizations to look out for our rivers and other waters at the local level.

The best practices available throughout this website provide a set of proven approaches for becoming a voice for our waters at the local level. The impact stories offer examples of strong champions making a difference around the country and the details of their hard-earned successes. You can also learn about what River Network can do to help you develop and maintain leadership and strong organizations that deliver results.

Log bridge over running water.

Leadership Development Consulting

We help organizations get started and “mature” from all-volunteer, small-budget efforts into organizations that have multiple staff, sustainable funding, and sophisticated programs designed to address concerns in their local waterways. 

People river rafting.

Networking & Learning

River Network helps organizations network with and learn from their peers around the country by coordinating peer learning networks focused on a variety of issues. 

Group of volunteers

Supporting Local Organizations

Through our relationships with federal agencies and corporate partners we provide funding opportunities for our members and groups across the network throughout the year.

Local Government and Watershed Organizations Partner for Water Quality Goals

Over the past 28 years, River Network has helped build and strengthen a national watershed protection movement that includes state, regional and local grassroots organizations whose primary mission is freshwater protection.  Through our Strong Champions program, we work to have strong organizations advocate for clean water. By putting into place some key organizational best practices,... Read More

Organizational Restructuring for Success

Under their old organizational structure, Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) had a President/Potomac Riverkeeper, a Shenandoah Riverkeeper, and an Upper Potomac River Manager. After securing the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper (UPRK) Keeper license and going through a transition in Presidents, they decided that they needed to reorganize the organizational structure to better meet the needs of their… Read More

Keys to Fundraising Success

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper was a successful organization, but so much of the group’s time was spent protecting their watershed that very little went into securing their budget from one year to the next. They relied almost entirely on grants, and had little time to dedicate to their members.  Overall they weren’t getting the support that they... Read More

Inclusive Community Engagement for Cleaning Up the Duwamish River

The Duwamish River is a 5.5 mile long Superfund site that flows through Seattle's Duwamish Valley, a highly developed urban and industrial center south of downtown. It suffers from a legacy of pollution that has accumulated in the river’s sediments and throughout its food chain. Eighty percent of Seattle's industrial lands are located within the Duwamish... Read More