River Voices: May 2018

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of River Voices. This issue includes a look at community resilience in Puerto Rico, the launch of River Network’s searchable map Who is Protecting Your Water?, plus an introduction to Paco Ollervides, River Network’s Leadership Development Manager. Check out funding opportunities for River Network members, plus the latest webinars and resources.


Puerto Rico: Rebuilding Resilient Communities

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, wiping out nearly all public access to power, water, health facilities, and supermarkets. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico struggled with environmental issues. In the 1950s, people emigrated to the cities and natural ecosystems – wetlands and mangrove forests – were filled in and turned into living spaces, leaving the island vulnerable. Urban Waters Learning Network (a partnership of Groundwork USA and River Network) asked Ingrid Vila, co-founder of CAMBIO, an organization promoting sustainability in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean: How do communities effectively respond to devastating storms?  And, what does it mean to build resilient communities? Read more.

River Rally Highlights


River Rally 2018 was a remarkable success, with over 475 attendees representing watersheds and communities from across the U.S. We connected deeply with one another as water champions, celebrated successes, and discussed the issues that matter most right now. Check out the River Rally 2018 highlights in photos.

Are You On the Map?

Map thumbnail

River Network’s NEW searchable water protectors map helps communities and local water supporters connect to you. 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.)

Meet Our Team

Meet Paco Ollervides, River Network’s Leadership Development Manager. For over 14 years, Paco has helped organizations think and act strategically by improving their efficiency and efficacy. He focuses on the Great Lakes, providing capacity building and organizational development support. Read more about Paco’s work.

Our management of water is fragmented, siloed. The way to change this is to manage it as a system. It’s like going to a holistic doctor that looks at your whole body.

–Lester Snow, winner of the 2018 Compton Award

Congratulations 2018 River Heroes!

River Network created the River Heroes Award in 2001 to recognize and celebrate individuals whose efforts to protect and restore their local rivers and waters have been extraordinary in scope, scale, impact and heart.

“Everyone needs a hero to inspire us to dream bigger, to do more, and to never give up,” says Nicole Silk, President of River Network. “This year’s River Heroes have pioneered restoration tactics, defended legal protections, and forged novel partnerships. With experience that binds the restoration of rivers in the arid Southwest, protection of waters in the northern Great Lakes, innovations to restore ecological function to the waterways of New England, and stewardship of coastal streams of the Pacific, their achievements and passionate determination elevate our sights to what is possible.” Read about this year’s winners.

Upcoming Webinars & Events

Water Decision Makers: How to Engage Them for Winning Partnerships

May 15, 1:00–2:30 pm EST. Navigating the world of water governance can be difficult. Hear from advocates and water utility representatives, and learn how best to influence local water decisions. This is a premium webinar open to paid River Network members only. Register here.

Wild and Scenic Rivers: Engaging Your Diverse Community

June 4, 2:00–3:30 pm EST. 2018 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. Learn about how your organization can engage diverse river advocates, including: students, veterans and members of the military, outfitters, and the Latino community. This is a free webinar. Register.

Telling Your Story for Broader Impact

June 19, 1:00–2:15 pm EST. Learn effective storytelling techniques for engaging community, with insights from two organizations that used storytelling to spur community action. This is a premium webinar open to paid River Network members only. Register here.

Planning a Restoration Project? Get Funded

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, a new 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.

River-Science Connection

Do you need science or technical support? River Network members can post detailed requests at the River Science Connection. Get paired with the right resource.

Contact Us

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