River Voices: March 2020

Welcome to the February 2020 edition of River Voices. This month, we’re reflecting on our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Hear from President Nicole Silk and a few members of our staff on their own journeys and how this work is shaping River Network, both internally and externally. Plus, register for River Rally this month to take advantage of discounted Early Bird rates.

River Rally 2019 attendees. Photo by Benjamin Colon.
River Rally 2019 attendees. Photo by Benjamin Colon.

For the past six years, we have been exploring and reframing our value proposition, intentionally setting our sights on what we can do to build a more inclusive and diverse movement for our nation’s rivers. Our work is both internal and external. You can find this commitment reflected publicly through our mission, vision, and values, our priorities, the network itself, and our team. This month, hear from Nicole Silk, Amy Boal, and Sheyda Esnaashari on their personal journeys, and how this commitment is informing their work.

Read more.


Meet Karla Noboa, River Network’s new Community Engagement Manager. Based in Boston, MA, Karla’s passions lie in urban conservation, environmental equity, and diversity and inclusion. As Community Engagement Manager, she’ll manage our cleanups and other events, engaging local communities and corporate sponsors.


With just two months until River Rally in San Antonio, don’t forget to register before April 1 to take advantage of Early Bird pricing! Options for single day and full conference registration are available, covering access to Rally programming, meals, and social events.

Register today before rates increase.


A generous donor is matching your full year of sponsored membership for new grassroots organizations! Every $200 given sponsors a full year of membership for a new group, and is MATCHED (up to $10k) for a total of two years of member benefits.

Sponsor a grassroots group today.

Alicia Smith at River Rally 2019.

Congratulations to the 2020 Urban Waters Learning Network Award Winners!

We can’t wait to honor and celebrate Alicia Lehrer (Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council), Alicia Smith (Junction Coalition), Andrea Savage (Groundwork Denver), and the organization Groundwork Indianapolis at River Rally this year!

Photo via Glacier Peak Institute.

We partnered with USFS for the first ever Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) Stewardship Partnership Funding, supporting seven groups to further protect and enhance their local WSRs, engage youth, and bring new audiences to WSRs.

Read more about each of these seven projects.


Join us in thanking our generous sponsors and supporters, whose contributions are making River Rally 2020 possible! Everyone plays a vital role in a future where healthier rivers and clean water are paramount, including national corporations, local businesses, and foundations.

Meet our sponsors and supporters.

Events & Learning Opportunities

Northeast Pennsylvania NFWF Funding Webinar

March 11, 10-11am EST
Learn about National Fish and Wildlife Foundation watershed restoration and conservation grant funding opportunities in a free one-hour webinar. NFWF Program directors will discuss Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and Delaware River Watershed Program funding opportunities for conservation work and on-the-ground watershed restoration projects.

Register here.

Project Rain Barrel Workshops

Multiple Dates This Spring
The 2020 season of Project Rain Barrel is underway! These events help communities and homeowners across the US and Canada reduce their water footprints. Check our events page for information on workshops in Berkeley Springs, WV; Tyler, TX; White Salmon, WA; and Fort Collins, CO, and check back often as new workshops will be added throughout the spring.

Learn more and register.

Member News and 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 this work? If the answer is “Yes!” be sure to check out the Business for Water Stewardship Project Bank, an opportunity for premium members of River Network to use a national platform to attract funding.

Share Your CBPR Experiences and Expertise!

We’re creating a toolkit for groups who are new to Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to provide information, tools, and resources to design and implement successful, equity-focused CBPR projects. We are looking to include the wisdom of folks who have on-the-ground experience conducting participatory research projects. If that is you, click below to connect with April Ingle.

I want to share my expertise!

How Can We Support Your Equitable Infrastructure Work?

Do you and/or your partners advocate for water infrastructure funding (e.g. pipes, treatment plants, rain gardens, water efficiency) in historically under-invested communities? If so, please take our short survey to assist in identifying how to best support your work to increase equitable investments in maintenance and improvements to infrastructure in your communities.

Take the survey.

Join the 6,600+ Groups on the Water Protectors Map

Are you on the map? River Network’s searchable water protectors map helps communities and local water supporters connect to you, whether you’re a nonprofit, Indigenous community, or government agency. Link to it, share it on social media, and embed it on your website! If you’re not already on the map, please sign up for a free River Network membership to be included.

Explore the map.

Explore the Rally Program: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, or Climate Justice Track

Throughout River Rally 2020 we will offer programming on EDI and climate justice topics. Among the workshops in this track are:

> “Building Multi-Racial Organizations for Our Waters” from Milwaukee Water Commons
> “Addressing Gentrification and Displacement for Community Resilience” from Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
> “Weaving Together Art, Water, and Social Justice” from the Blue Art Collective
> “En Español: How to Reach and Activate Latino Communities” from Corazón Latino and River Network
> “Rooted in Nature: Achieving Equitable Resilience” from Bayou City Waterkeeper & Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience

…and more! Check out the full program for all the sessions in this track.

What We’re Reading

Radical CandorRiver Network staff are currently reading Kim Scott’s book and incorporating principles of Radical Candor (caring personally, while challenging directly) into our internal culture.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo’s book “explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.”

Brene Brown on Empathy, Vulnerability – in two powerful videos, hear from Brene Brown on the important distinction between empathy and sympathy, and the courage we can find when we are vulnerable and allow ourselves to truly and fully be seen.