River Voices: January 2020

Welcome to the January 2020 edition of River Voices, with a focus on water law and policy! We’re celebrating the start of a new decade by looking back on the previous two decades of our Clean Water Act trainings. Read the 2019 policy wrap up, reflecting on both the wins and losses for water policy last year. Plus, River Rally registration is open!

Comanche Point, Valle Vidal. Photo by Jim O'Donnell
Comanche Point, Valle Vidal. Photo by Jim O'Donnell

Our work disseminating CWA tools has taken on many forms over the last two decades, and supported the protection and restoration of watersheds across the country, reverberating throughout our national network of local water protectors. Hear from Gayle Killam, our Deputy Director of Science and Policy, and stories from across the network detailing just some of the ways.

Read more.


Join us in San Antonio this May! From plenary panels on regenerative agriculture and the history of the San Antonio River to workshops led by industry leaders from San Antonio River Authority, NOAA, Corazón Latino, US Water Alliance, and more, this year’s Rally is not one to miss.

Register today to enjoy Early Bird rates!


Many power plants store their toxic coal ash waste in large unlined pits sited next to rivers, streams and lakes. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing to give power companies more time to secure or close unlined coal ash storage pits.

Contact EPA today and let them know we need them to protect us from toxic coal ash pollution NOW.


“I was going to a meeting and came to the realization that if I wasn’t doing what I was doing, no one would be doing it. We’re just vital in building and maintaining the movement and giving communities resources.”

Meet Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director at Healthy Gulf to learn about his work and stories from our Clean Water Action trainings.

Photo via Clean Water for All.

2019 Water Policy – A Year in Review

When it comes to water policy, 2019 was full of setbacks, but there were also important wins to celebrate. Hear about it all from April Ingle, our Science and Policy Manager, including where the power of this network (YOU!) made a big difference and where there are even more opportunities to flex that power in 2020.

Read the review.


Meet our Science and Policy Manager, April Ingle! Based in High Point, North Carolina, April has a passion for protecting and enjoying rivers and assisting people who are working together to protect and strengthen their communities and the places they love.

Meet April.


Catherine Coleman Flowers, Maya van Rossum, Dr. Tom Vaughan, Sky Jones-Lewey, and Amanda Pitzer bring people together to solve water problems, seek inclusive and equitable solutions, go “above & beyond,” never give up, and inspire and help others to make a difference.

Learn more about their work.

Events & Learning Opportunities

Two New River Network Essential Knowledge Series Now Available!

Gentrification and Anti-Displacement: In 2019, River Network and the Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) dug deeper into a topic that has long been a concern of UWLN members: the gentrification and displacement of people that we see taking place in our urban communities, oftentimes following efforts to revitalize and reinvest in the places we call home. The resulting webinar series and complementary resources are now available for all. Watch and learn more.

Building Community and Climate Resilience: Last year, we and UWLN also focused on providing support to urban waters practitioners to help them build community and climate resilience through education, mitigation, and planning. These webinars and additional resources are now available for all as well. Watch and learn more.

SYRCL’s 18th Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival

January 16-20; Nevada City, CA
SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival inspires environmental activism and a love for nature–through film. The 5-day flagship festival is held annually in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California, and features 100+ films, workshops, visiting filmmaker and activist talks, family-friendly programs, art exhibitions, parties, and more.

Get tickets.

Get to Know Your Local Streams

January 23, 5:30-7:30pm MST; Boulder, CO
Join the Keep It Clean Partnership staff for a presentation on the recently released 2018 Annual Water Quality Report. Learn about our monitoring program, what trends we are seeing, and how you can help us work to improve water quality in your watershed.

The event will take place at the Boulder Main Library in the Boulder Creek Room.

Learn more.

Rivers Lab: Landscapes That Work for Biodiversity and People

January 30, 12-1pm PST; Nevada City, CA
Rivers Lab is a no pressure environment and a great way to learn more about the ecosystems surrounding us by reading relative scientific literature. Encourage your friends to join – the more diversity of thought, the merrier!

Meets the last Thursday of every month, attendees read 1-2 papers per month.

Learn more and register.

Member News and Tips

We’re hiring! River Network is looking for a Delaware River Basin Program Manager based in the Basin, a Philanthropy Manager based in Colorado, and a Community Engagement Manager based wherever the best candidate is located! Check out our job board for these positions and the latest water-stewardship career opportunities from across the national network.

Have an open position to post? Submit here.

Your Voice Is Needed!

EPA is proposing to to weaken the rules that limit the amount of toxic pollution that power plants can put into local water supplies. Waterkeeper Alliance has an easy way to contact EPA and tell them NO on this dangerous rollback.

Contact EPA today.

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2020 Request for Proposals

This program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds, and the species and habitats they support. This program expects that applicants will represent a mixture of urban and rural communities.

Submit your proposal by 1/30.

Submit Your Local Action Alert!

Are you doing local advocacy work that would benefit from online organizing and/or promotion? Premium members of River Network can submit action alerts to be published through the Action Network. This provides the ability to organize people around a local issue, mobilize new activists, and we’ll help promote your issue!

Submit your alert.

Explore the Rally Program: Advancing Robust and Effective Laws & Policies

Throughout River Rally 2020 we will offer programming on water law and policy. Among the workshops in this theme are:

> “Scaling Investment to Meet Local Water Challenges” from WaterNow Alliance and others
> “How to Build a Movement in a Year – A Wisconsin Water Agenda” from River Alliance of Wisconsin
> “Personhood Rights for Rivers” from University of Minnesota
> “Stay Up to Speed on Water Policy” from Environment America and River Network

…and more! Check out the full program for all our law and policy sessions.

What We’re Reading

Public Lands in the United States: A CurriculumThis teaching curriculum, developed by The Avarna Group and The Wilderness Society tells a fuller story about public lands in the US, one that acknowledges the presence of Indigenous peoples on those lands, the uglier aspects of the history of making those lands “public,” and related issues that continue today.

Southerly – One of our staff member’s new current favorite reads, this e-magazine covers ecology, justice and culture in the American south.

Flow Modification in the Nation’s Streams and Rivers – This new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report summarizes a national assessment of flowing waters conducted by USGS’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project and addresses several pressing questions about the modification of natural flows in streams and rivers.

Cool Maps! – In addition to our own interactive Water Protectors Map, check out PolicyMap, an online mapping tool with data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs, and more in communities across the US; and Watershed Map, an interactive map to explore watersheds in the US.