River Voices: January 2019

Welcome to the January 2019 edition of River Voices. Read our 2018 water policy round-up and get set for what’s ahead in 2019. Plus, meet River Network’s membership and operations associate, Carly Schmidt, and Cindy Lowry, executive director of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, and check out the latest webinars and funding opportunities.


Our Annual Policy Round Up

Some years feel like a blur, with so much happening in policy across the country that you can barely keep up. That’s how 2018 felt to those of us on the front lines of clean and safe water. 2018 had a number of wins, including progress made on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the Farm Bill, the Federal budget, and the East Rosebud Wild and Scenic River designation. Many of you played a part in reaching these milestones. Reforms to ensure access to voting were won at the state level in many places, and voter turnout in the midterm election was at a record high. In not-so-good news, the Trump Administration continued to dismantle environmental protections and disavow science. Read our 2018 water policy round-up on the blog and find simple ways to fight back in 2019.

Meet Our Team

Meet Carly Schmidt, River Network’s Membership and Operations Associate. Carly is thrilled to support organizations that protect water across the country. Carly grew up rowing and sailing on Lake Ontario and holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences and policy. Read more about Carly’s work.

2018 Highlights

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We are proud of our network’s 2018 accomplishments as we step into a productive 2019. We are grateful for our members, participants, staff, business partners, and supporters, without whom none of these wins would be possible. Check out 2018 highlights in the River Network 2018 Annual Report.

Registration Opens 1/22!


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. See the River Rally 2019 themes and check back here on January 22nd.

Today, thanks to the Clean Water Act, our waters have become safer for swimming, fishing and drinking. But not every American experiences these benefits equally. Too many people – especially in low-income rural and urban communities and communities of color – still live without clean water, a basic human need. From the industrial Midwest to remote farming communities in Alabama, some 63 million Americans—one in five—have been exposed to unsafe drinking water in the last decade. We have more work to do.

–Nicole Silk, President, River Network, op-ed in The Progressive, “Trump Plan is a Threat to Clean Water”

Meet Our Network: Cindy Lowry

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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 Lowry.

2019 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. The self-nomination process will open with River Rally registration on January 22nd.

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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.

Upcoming Webinars & Events

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.

Understanding Nonprofit Financial Management

February 14, 1:00–2:30 pm EST. Is your organization struggling to produce timely financial reports or to help the board understand its financial health? This webinar will cover finance basics for board and staff. We will discuss best practices for budgeting, tracking, and reporting to help you visualize critical financial information for your organization. Premium webinar open to paid River Network members only. Register.

Ensuring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Your Programs

March 14, 1:00–2:30 pm EST. River Network seeks to promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in our work and the work of organizations across our network. In this webinar will we will share River Network’s principles for EDI and our equity assessment tool and help you re-imagine your work through an equity lens. 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.