River Voices: July 2019

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of River Voices, with special focus on River Rally 2019. Meet Amy Boal, River Network’s Marketing and Communications Manager, and see River Rally 2019 highlights, including a piece by journalist James Edward Mills on equity, diversity, and inclusion at Rally.

River Rally 2019 attendees. Photo by Benjamin Colon.

River Rally 2019 Highlights: The Power of Rally

Twenty years ago, River Network began bringing together our nation’s river champions and water protectors at our annual River Rally conference. This year’s event was held on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the last time the river caught fire, an event that informed the modern environmental movement, the achievements made since that time, and our water future. Attendees heard from keynote speakers and plenary panelists on issues of water and democracy, equity, and agriculture. Workshop leaders engaged small groups across topics, with attendees leaving Cleveland empowered, energized, and ready to return to their work with renewed enthusiasm. See photo highlights from River Rally 2019 and read River Network President, Nicole Silk’s reflections on the power of Rally to carry the spirit of Rally into your work.

“[River Rally 2019 was] the most inspiring conference I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend. I have so many new ideas on engaging my community about watershed issues and becoming stewards of the long term. Thank you for this opportunity.”

-Taylor Brook, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

2019 River Heroes


All too frequently, individuals and groups involved with natural resource conservation fail to celebrate their hard-won successes. Too often, important victories are allowed to be overshadowed by the next issue or threat. Challenges always lie ahead, but we are proud to take time each year to celebrate our achievements and the people who make them possible.

Meet this year’s River Heroes and other awardees!

Take the Trends Survey

We need your insights! Every 3 to 5 years, we collect information from water leaders working locally across the nation about challenges and opportunities related to clean water and healthy rivers and the evolution of our workforce and workplace. The data we collect will be analyzed, compared with earlier findings, and shared through our publicly accessible report: Our Water, Our Future. We thank you in advance for your participation!

Share your insights.

Meet Our Team


Meet Amy Boal, River Network’s Marketing and Communications Manager. Amy is excited to give voice to the network after a decade in digital publishing. A Pacific Northwest native, Amy spent her childhood along the Trask River and Hagg Lake and holds a degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Oregon. In her spare time, Amy knits, hikes, and bakes.

Read more about Amy’s work.


Beyond Equity: River Rally 2019

“In the spirit of bringing more people of color into the discussion around protecting our water resources, the 2019 River Rally brought together participants across a broad spectrum.” Journalist James Edward Mills attended River Rally this year and his piece captures the River Heroes Awards, range of Rally’s voices, and River Network’s EDI work to date more broadly. Read Mills’s piece here.

Idea Exchanges Join the River Rally Program

River Rally 2019 featured the first Idea Exchanges: unique opportunities for attendees to connect during River Rally and beyond, to build their knowledge and network related to specific issues their communities may be facing. Skilled facilitators led structured conversations around Civic Engagement and four key issues: Safe, Clean, and Affordable Drinking Water; Water Laws and Policies; Building Resilient Cities and Communities; and Healthy Rivers in Agricultural Landscapes. Learn what initial priorities came out of these sessions and how to get involved in ongoing discussions on these issues if you didn’t attend Rally here.


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

Amanda Monaco works as Policy Coordinator – Water Programs with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. Based in the San Joaquin and Easter Coachella Valleys, Leadership Counsel works alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place.

Click here to meet Amanda.


River Rally wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of all our sponsors.

Thank you to The Cleveland Foundation, Anheuser-Busch, Pradco Outdoor Brands, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Bridgestone, Urban Waters Learning Network, Walton Family Foundation, Freshwater Future, NACWA, The Fellows Group, National Resources Defense Council, StormTrap, Storm Water Systems, In-Situ, The Rain Barrel Depot, JetBlue, Dumpsters.com, Frey Foundation, and Breckenridge Brewery.

Learn more about our sponsors here.

Webinars & Resources

Making a Splash When Talking About River Flows

July 24th 2:00–3:30 pm EST. In 2018 and 2019, members of the Flows Network surveyed their contacts and a focus group was held with elected officials to explore which messages about protecting healthy river flows they do — and don’t — respond to. Join us to find out what we discovered! You’ll come away with actionable advice on how to choose the words and pictures to most effectively tell your river flows story to elected officials, stakeholders, and supporters. Free webinar. Register.

Setting Water Rates Considering Customer Affordability and System & Resource Sustainability: Aiming to Address These Needs Together

July 30th 1:00–2:15 pm EST. In the third of a four-part webinar series, Stacey Isaac Berahzer will take participants on a deeper dive into setting water rates to address sustainability and affordability. Building off of webinar 2 in this series, we will explore how rates can be designed to address customer affordability issues and water conservation and efficiency. Free webinar. Register.

Member News and Tips

Join the 2020 River Heroes Selection Committee!

We again extend our most heartfelt congratulations to this year’s River Heroes for their tireless work. But next year’s River Heroes need you! Heroes are nominated annually by their peers, selected by peers, and celebrate with peers at River Rally. Work with River Network to increase the impact of this award by serving on the River Heroes Selection Committee in the fall of 2019. Join here!

Funding Opportunities

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

Careers & Professional Opportunities

We’re hiring! Apply for our Institutional Relations Director role or check out other positions across our network for the latest water-stewardship career opportunities. Have a job to post? Submit a job here.

Contact Us

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

Congratulations, Paco!

After seven years with River Network, Francisco “Paco” Ollervides is moving on to a new role as Interim Executive Director of the Green Leadership Trust. At River Rally 2019, Paco led multiple workshops and his contributions to River Network are innumerable. We are thrilled for Paco and will miss his spirit dearly!