River Voices: June 2019

Welcome to the June 2019 edition of River Voices, with special focus on urban flooding and our community resilience work. Meet Diana Toledo, River Network’s Leadership Development Director, and see River Rally 2019 highlights, including an opportunity to join the Urban Waters Learning Forum.

Community Resilience

Nearly 41 million Americans, or 13 percent of the U.S. population, are exposed to the risk of flooding each year. Such sobering statistics may not surprise you given the images of Maria, Harvey, Sandy, Katrina … the list goes on. Yet, the truth is that smaller flooding events at higher frequency, which impact the same urban streets and neighborhoods one storm after the next, actually can have similar cumulative costs. At River Network, we are working with groups across the country to help communities address the growing threat of urban flooding. Members of our Urban Waters Learning Network (coordinated by River Network and Groundwork USA) work across many of these communities to prepare for and mitigate the effects of urban flooding. Learn from the successes of these local organizations.

Trends Survey

Every 3 to 5 years, River Network collects 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. The survey will take approximately ten minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your participation! Share your insights.

Rally Highlights


River Rally is just a few weeks away! The program has many highlights, including keynote speaker Keesha Gaskins-Nathan on Water and Democracy, plus plenary panels Cuyahoga River: From Flame to Fame; Water Equity, Security, and Climate Risk; and The Changing Face of Agriculture. Register today!

Meet Our Team

Meet Diana Toledo, River Network’s Leadership Development Director. Diana is responsible for developing and delivering training and consulting services so that leaders, organizations, and coalitions working for freshwater protection are strong, effective, and results-oriented. Read more about Diana’s work.

New Drinking Water Guide for Advocates

River Network’s Drinking Water Guide is a first step in galvanizing a national network of advocates for safe, clean, affordable, and sustainable drinking water and drinking water systems. Supported by the C.S. Mott Foundation, and guided by a Great Lakes–based Advisory Committee, the Drinking Water Guide provides in-depth information, resources, and case studies. The guide serves as a key resource for groups and individuals working on these issues to better understand, integrate, and elevate issues of equity and justice as part of their drinking water advocacy. Explore the Drinking Water Guide.

Credit Mark Sampson

NEW Wild & Scenic Funding Opportunity

River Network and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are excited to announce a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations working on stewardship activities on USFS administered Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR). Partnership funding will range from $5,000-$10,000 per award for work occurring between August 1 and December 31, 2019. Applications due July 3rd.

Meet Our Network: Melinda Booth


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.

Melinda Booth is the Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League. SYRCL is the central hub of community activism to protect, restore, and celebrate the Yuba River watershed in California. Click here to meet Melinda.

Urban Waters at River Rally

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Join us at the Urban Waters Learning Forum at River Rally. River Network and Groundwork USA will host the Urban Waters Learning Forum on Friday before River Rally begins. We will host a racial-equity workshop, plus offer facilitated networking and present the Third Annual Urban Waters Learning Network Awards.

See participants talking about the Urban Waters Learning Network at River Rally.

Webinars & Resources

Monitoring Neighborhood Change: Using Data to Track and Prevent Displacement

June 5th 2:00–3:15 pm EST. In this second webinar of our Urban Waters Learning Network series on gentrification and displacement, we will explore different ways data is being used by communities and decision-makers to understand displacement vulnerabilitie and assess equitable development plans. Free webinar. Register.

Building Community Resilience: Climate Change Education as a First Step

June 12th 1:00–2:15 pm EST. The effects of climate change on urban areas—like flooding, heat, and drought—are clear to urban waters practitioners around the nation. Join us for this webinar to hear from organizations that are communicating climate change science to the public via different forms of education. Free webinar. Register.

Water Infrastructure Funding and Financing 101

June 18th 1:00–2:30 EST. Join us for the first of a four part series on how communities generate the money for water projects (both traditional pipes and treatment as well as green infrastructure), how investment decisions are made and how local organizations can play a role to ensure funding is going where it is most needed. Free webinar. 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, organizational leadership development, or water science and policy analysis? Contact us.

Sponsored membership match campaign complete!

You did it! You supported 50 new memberships for grassroots organizations. You and a generous matching donor are helping build stronger water champions and connecting these new groups to an incredible network of water protectors nationwide! Thank you!