In News, Press Release

River Network Announces 2016 James R. Compton River Achievement Award Winner

Boulder, CO (May 24, 2016) – River Network has named Wilma Subra of New Iberia, La., the 2016 James R. Compton River Achievement Award winner. The award was given in recognition of Subra’s long-term dedication to addressing environmental and human health impacts, including her extraordinary attention to issues concerning water resources.

Subra’s background includes more than 48 years of experience sampling and performing chemical and microbiologic analysis of groundwater, surface water resources, air and waste; as well as monitoring the environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling and production activities, oil and gas waste treatment and disposal practices, and associated human health impacts.

Her current work is focused on the environmental and human health impacts of shale development, the development of appropriate parameters for monitoring groundwater and surface water resources to detect the impacts of shale development, and the development of guidelines for the regulation of state programs dealing with shale development. She is president of Subra Company and provides technical assistance to citizens concerned with their environment and human health by combining technical research and evaluation.

Her accomplishments include receiving the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation in 1999 for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities. She also received the 2011 Domestic Human Rights Award from the Global Exchange for her dedication to human rights issues.

“Wilma Subra is not only a talented scientist, but also a fierce, level-headed and tireless advocate on behalf of poisoned families and communities,” said River Network Board Chair, Lynn Broaddus. “She understands what it means to be an underdog, and has dedicated her life to protecting the families of the Gulf Coast, and the waters they depend on.”

River Network honored Subra in Mobile, Alabama, on May 23, 2016 during a banquet as part of River Network’s annual conference, River Rally. The event was attended by more than 400 river and watershed protection advocates and enthusiasts from across the U.S. and around the world.

About the James R. Compton River Achievement Award

In 2001, River Network created an award in honor of James “Jim” Compton to recognize one person’s long-term or lifetime achievements in support of healthy rivers. As President of the Compton Foundation, Jim’s commitment to river conservation led to the research and development of a new, long-term strategy to protect salmon; encouraged environmentally sound dam operations and deregulation incentives; and assisted local river and watershed groups across the country to achieve their restoration and protection goals through the powerful but under-used tool: The Clean Water Act of 1972. Through his personal and professional contributions, Jim touched the lives of thousands of river activists and community members. Those who are honored in his name display a similar amount of passion, respect and actions toward the protection of our rivers. For details about the James R. Compton Award program, visit

About River Network
River Network empowers and unites people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. We envision a future of clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. Visit to learn more.

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