River Voices: December 2022

Welcome to the December 2022 edition of River Voices. This month, watch a new video featuring partners in our work with Water Now Alliance to build trust between water utilities and community organizations. Our gratitude for your support on Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day! If you missed the giving days, you can still support our work this year.

Trust between water utilities and community organizations is critical for successful decision making and investing that leads to safe, clean and sustainable water for all. In our new video, meet two partnerships that have found success in Tucson, AZ, and New Orleans, LA. Their lessons and others featured in our Building Blocks of Trust report can help seed and inspire many more such relationships – including in your community!

Read more.

“When we receive support from organizations like River Network, it puts tangible assets into our community, and it’s what residents say they want and need in their communities. Through education and outreach, the buy-in is there, and residents take ownership of this work. That’s what makes this work—the community.”

–Dr. Angela Chalk, Healthy Community Services

Our gratitude to the partner organizations and water utilities featured in this video and to Bold Bison Communications, WaterNow Alliance,
and Spring Point Partners.

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Share your voice! We launched our Clean Water Act Owner’s Manual in October and we are planning to deliver trainings to groups interested in learning how to use the Act to advocate for healthy rivers. Please complete this two-minute survey and let us know what  issues you are facing, and how our trainings can be most impactful.

Take the survey.

Megan Nguyen, second from left, with fellow River Rally attendees. Photo by James Mills.

“The prevailing wisdom among River Rally attendees suggests that environmental nonprofits should provide local advocacy organizations with the resources they need to be successful and simply get out of their way.” James Edward Mills joined us at River Rally 2022. Now, read his reflections on the profound shift of focus present in DC last June.

Read more and look for an announcement of River Rally 2024 dates later this week!

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“We learned so much from all of these partnerships… [one] started from a place of distrust but had the foresight to pause the project and come up with new solutions.”

Caroline Koch is Water Policy Director at WaterNow Alliance, and our close partner in our work building trust between water utilities and community groups.

Meet Caroline.

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Explore our 2022 impacts, which are made possible by YOU!

Whether you’re a member, partner, funder, donor, or collaborate with us in other ways, this year was full of connection, strength, and transformation. Read more about our programs, our dedicated and passionate staff, and all the collective impact we had this year for water, equity, and more.

See our impact.

Combines sewage overflow pipes

Elevate your community engagement by identifying common sources of pollution and equipping volunteers with guidance for how to spot them and take action! We developed tools to help you track common sources of pollution specific to the Delaware River Basin: combined sewer overflows, road salt, flooding, and construction sites. While specific to the Delaware, these issues, tools, and tactics are useful for communities across the country.

Learn more.

Member News & Tips

Color of Water Expert Directory

WaterHub’s new, interactive directory features the knowledge and lived experiences of more than 60 experts of color in water, making it easier for journalists and decision makers to find and connect with voices from Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities with first-hand experience dealing with water, climate, and environmental justice challenges and developing community-based solutions all across the country.

Learn more.

National Forest Foundation 2023 Matching Awards

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for results-oriented on-the-ground projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands. MAP Round 1 2023 grants will support action-oriented projects that enhance outdoor experiences, forest and ecosystem health, and engage local communities in caring for their public lands.

Apply by January 23.

Four Dams to Be Removed on the Klamath

The unanimous vote on the lower Klamath River dams in mid-November was the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and environmentalists for years. The project would free hundreds of miles of the river, which flows from Southern Oregon into Northern California. Congrats to all across the network who were involved!

Read more.

Register for the 2023 River Management Society Symposium

At the 2023 Symposium you’ll have opportunities to learn and connect with river managers, stewards and students from across the country in San Antonio, TX, at the “Reimagine River Access” Symposium from Feb. 28 – March 2. Take a deep dive into the physical, economic and social issues surrounding river access today, and explore one of the nation’s busiest recreation districts!

Register.

What We’re Reading, Watching, and Listening To

  • US Water Alliance’s new Racial Equity Toolkit – this resource for water utilities contains instructions on use and implementation, a glossary of applicable terms and resources, and a rubric that clearly guides utilities on a four-phased approach to racial equity through focusing on five key themes: Organizational Development, Community Partnerships, Workforce Development, Capital Projects, and Customer Service.
  • Georgia Water Coalition’s “Dirty Dozen” report – This year marks a special edition of Georgia Water Coalition’s annual Dirty Dozen report, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act by reviewing 12 landmark legal actions that shaped the implementation of the Clean Water Act in Georgia. These lawsuits corrected some “dirty” situations to improve the health of the state’s water and the people and wildlife that depend on that water.
  • “EPA reports drop in significant Clean Water Act violations” – The Hill reports that EPA has met its noncompliance goal, part of a 2018 interstate agreement, ahead of schedule, slashing noncompliance from 20.3 percent in early 2018 to 9 percent, according to the agency. The initiative applied to about 46,000 facilities nationwide that are subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.
  • Patagonia’s film Legacy Regenerated – In Warren County, North Carolina, a Black farmer is growing industrial hemp to help his century-old farm thrive for at least another 100 years.
  • Alabama Rivers Alliance’s film See Me in Nature – Meet a few of Alabama’s Black environmental leaders, activists, and historians who are currently shaping their community and providing long overdue awareness of the roots of the work.