River Voices: December 2018

Welcome to the December 2018 edition of River Voices. We’re pleased to present (in English and Spanish) River Network’s Latino and Hispanic Community Engagement: Best Practices for Water Groups. Plus, meet our network (Cindy Chang), and check out the latest webinars, funding opportunities, and our Emerging Leader Award announcement.


Latino & Hispanic Community Engagement

Across the U.S., communities of color face disproportionate exposure to toxins and pollution. Yet their voices often go unheard. Recent surveys by Sierra Club and Green Latinos show that Latinos are environmentalists at heart. A majority consider outdoor activities important to them and strongly support clean air and clean water regulations. At River Network, we aspire to close the gap between environmental groups and those communities, as we work to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive water movement. Read our latest article “Engaging Latino and Hispanic Communities: Best Practices for Water Groups” in English and Spanish.

Register in January!


The River Network team has been hard at work reviewing more than 200 workshop proposals, plus field trip proposals and River Hero nominations. We look forward to announcing the full River Rally 2019 program when registration opens in January. See the River Rally 2019 themes.

Meet Our Team

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Meet Paco Ollervides, River Network’s Leadership Development Manager. Paco is a leader in River Network’s efforts to help water groups engage Hispanic and Latino communities. He focuses on the Great Lakes, supporting capacity building and organizational development. Read about Paco’s work.

Our 2018 Highlights

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The River Network 2018 Annual Report is here. We are extremely proud of this year’s impacts—and the progress made throughout our network. And we are grateful for our staff, members, business partners, and supporters, without whom none of our work would be possible. Read River Network’s 2018 highlights.

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A River Re-imagined: Transforming the L.A. River

Mention the L.A. River and most people conjure up the drag racing scene in the movie Grease or crime stories with a noir bent, featuring the river as a dumping ground for urban decay. Admittedly, before attending a river clean-up organized by Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), River Network, and corporate partner Anheuser-Busch (AB), I’d never been to the L.A. River despite living less than an hour away for the last decade and having a 5th-generation native Angeleno mother from East L.A. The irony that I’d made a career traveling to rivers around the globe but had not yet visited the one that’s most significant to my own heritage hit me as I arrived to Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park in Glendale, California, to report for clean-up duty. Click here to read the full story.

That’s 200 tons of trash that’s not going into the ocean. That’s a really big deal, and very personal for me. That’s why I love working with Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR)—the river speaks to so many Angelenos regarding water, water quality, trash, green spaces. It’s a very, very important part of our city.
–Johanna Hackett, FoLAR Operations and Partnership Manager, in “A River Re-imagined: Transforming the L.A. River”

As 2018 comes to a close we are grateful for 30 years of connecting, empowering, and expanding the efforts of water groups across the U.S. Read reflections on those 30 years plus the impressive highlights from our network in the 2018 Annual Report. We would like to thank everyone who has given gifts to River Network so far this year. Gifts to River Network ensure this critical work will continue strong in 2019—and beyond.

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NEW! Emerging Leader Award

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River Network is excited to announce the new Emerging Leader River Hero Award. The award provides early-career recognition for an individual working at the intersection of water and justice.

The recipient will be honored at River Rally 2019 and will receive financial assistance for travel, lodging, and registration. Read the full announcement—and please help us spread the word.

Meet Our Network: Cindy Chang

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From urban water advocates to wild and scenic river champions, we are lucky to know and work with these local heroes who safeguard water for our families and communities.

We invite you to get to know outstanding water champions taking action for clean water and healthy rivers from coast to coast. Click here to meet Cindy Chang.

Upcoming Webinars & Events

Fundraising Best Practices

December 13, 1:00-2:30pm EST.  Fundraising offers donors the opportunity to invest in the change they want to see in the world. This session will explain the fundraising cycle, the importance of planning, fundraising strategies, and tips for building a strong development program. Premium webinar open to paid River Network members only. Sign up today!

Peer Call: What to Expect from the Next Congress

December 18, 10:30 am EST. What is the outlook for clean water, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and environmental rollbacks? Join River Network staff and Jim Bradley, Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at American Rivers, to hear about the implications of the 2018 election. Registration limited to 45 participants. Free. Register here.

Volunteer Recruitment, Management, and Retention

January 10, 1:00–2:30 pm EST. Explore what motivates volunteers, how to build a successful volunteer program, including tips for recruitment and management, and how to steward your volunteers up the volunteer pyramid to help you create committed leaders for your organization. Premium webinar open to paid River Network members only. Register.

Member News & Tips

Are you planning, designing, or implementing on-the-ground restoration projects that will restore river flows and/or recharge ground water? Would you like the opportunity to share your projects with businesses who may be interested in providing support for your projects? If the answer is “Yes!” be sure to check out the Business for Water Stewardship Project Bank, an opportunity for paid members of River Network to use a national platform to attract funding.

Careers & Professional Opportunities

Check out our network’s job board for the latest water-stewardship career opportunities. Have a job to post? Submit a job here.

Funding Opportunities

Paid River Network members enjoy this premium benefit! Submit projects to the Business for Water Stewardship Project Bank. Learn more.

Contact Us

Are you looking for training in water stewardship, organization leadership development, or water science and policy analysis? Contact us.