Recognizing River Network’s leadership role and shared accountability for the health of water across the US and the many people who call it home, our Strategic Plan concludes with three ambitious focus areas. These focus areas define the network’s impact working collectively over time, frame our work, and represent the future for people and nature we envision and are helping to create.
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Healthy rivers sustain people and natural systems, and are vital assets for the communities through which they flow. Yet many are threatened by pollution, habitat destruction, depletion, and climate change, especially in low-income and communities of color. Successfully tackling these threats requires an integrated, equitable approach at multiple scales. This includes addressing river corridors, floodplains, and upstream and downstream connections. River Network advances these approaches by strengthening local organizations’ abilities to develop diverse coalitions, lead advocacy efforts, promote best practices, and leverage funding to achieve resilient and accessible rivers.
Drinking water is fundamental to our health and well-being. However, across the country, access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water – two thirds of which comes from streams and rivers – is not guaranteed. By equipping groups nationwide with the knowledge and capacity needed to advocate for equitable access to clean drinking water and influence decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels, we can advance the human right to water and ensure sustainable drinking water access for all.
Communities across the US face increasing risks of flooding, drought, and other weather-related natural disasters whose impacts disproportionately affect low-income and communities of color. Local, grassroots, community groups are key to contributing their expertise, leveraging power and influence, and serving as effective local and regional agents for change, ultimately building more equitable, thriving, and climate-resilient communities with and by the people who are most impacted.