River Voices: November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of River Voices. This month, we’re digging into our role as a connector. Why are backbone, intermediary organizations like River Network so important to the local groups we serve? Find out through two fascinating looks at distinct pieces of our work: organizational development and restoration support. Are you registered to vote tomorrow? Check your registration and be sure to VOTE.

Photo courtesy Cheyenne Hiapo Perry.
Photo courtesy Cheyenne Hiapo Perry.

How can local groups access national, corporate funding they need to support restoration and water conservation projects? River Network, in collaboration with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, makes it easy. Learn how Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance received funding through the Business for Water Stewardship Project Bank and is successfully addressing threats to groundwater replenishment and endemic species in Hawaii. And, hear from our Leadership Development staff on how we empower leaders to ensure their organizations are effective and have the resources they need.

Read more.


“A lot of the beauty in working in a coalition and being a convener and connector is helping to build and spread knowledge across people and organizations.”

Meet Mariah Davis, Policy and Campaigns Manager for the Choose Clean Water Coalition and learn about her outreach, grassroots advocacy, civic engagement, and equity work.

Meet Mariah.


It’s possible we’ll go to bed tomorrow not knowing who won the election. While we’re all ready for the election to be over, our democracy is based on the principle that everyone has a vote and every vote counts. It’s more important to take our time to count all votes, than to have a quick conclusion. Learn more below and join us on Thursday for a post-election discussion.

Learn more.


River Network’s Science and Policy Manager April Ingle is based in High Point, NC. April has been leading much of our Get Out the Vote work this election season and helps River Network members navigate the Business for Water Project Stewardship Bank, among many other impactful projects and responsibilities. Learn more about her work throughout this issue.

Meet April.

Log bridge over running water.Building Strong Champions for Local Impact

We say it a lot: River Network connects local watershed organizations across the country, empowering them with tools, training, and resources. But what does this really mean? Hear from our Mid-Atlantic Leadership Development Manager Brenna Goggin on the ways we support Organizational Sustainability & Planning, Leadership Development, and Professional Development for our member organizations

Read more.

It’s a Great Time to Share Your Gratitude with Donors!


As we enter into the last months of 2020, it’s a great time to give thanks and gratitude for those who have supported your organization throughout the year. Have you considered a “gratitude campaign”? Perhaps staff and volunteers at your organization can write a quick handwritten note or place a phone call to thank your supporters before the end of the year. As the days get shorter and the weather colder, this personal touch can be just the warmth someone needs to brighten their day. Reach out today – you’ll feel an attitude of gratitude, too!

Rio de Flag Clean Up in Southside, May 4th, 2018, volunteers removing trash from the Rio de Flag in Southside neighborhood south of Butler Ave. Flagstaff, Arizona

Friends of the Rio de Flag (Flagstaff, AZ), with funding from an EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant, worked strategically to strengthen relationships in the community by centering environmental justice in their work. To learn more about the partnerships they formed, including with residents of the historically segregated Southside Neighborhood where stormwater flooding is a problem, read the latest Urban Waters Learning Network impact story.

Read more.

Events & Learning Opportunities

Watch: Fall Virtual Roundtable Recordings

If you missed our Get Out the Vote, Navigating End of the Year Giving in 2020, or Budgets in the Time of COVID Roundtables last month, you’re in luck! Check out the recordings and access additional resources on our website.

River Network Post-Election Community Conversation

November 5, 2 – 3p ET
Join our policy staff and experts Julian Gonzalez (Earthjustice), Scott Berry (US Water Alliance), and the Combined Defense Project for insights on what to expect for water policy, based on the outcome of the election. We’ll also hear about important state and local outcomes from around the country; come ready to share election results from your area.

Learn more and register.

Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed 2020 Election Recap

November 17, 2 – 3:30p ET
Join CDRW for an in-depth look at the 2020 Election results on Tuesday, November 17 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm. CDRW’s Peter Marx will dive into Congressional races and impacts to the Delaware River watershed and our collective priorities. Their State Leads will also flag the results to relevant state legislative races.


Fall Virtual Roundtable: Advancing Racial Justice, Part II

November 18, 12-1:30p ET
Join us in a follow-up to our August peer conversation on advancing racial justice. We will highlight some tools used by River Network staff and partners and again create space for peer sharing, questions, and learning. NOTE: This is an extended, 90 minute roundtable rather than the standard 60 minute session.

Learn more and register.

2021 River Management Society Symposium: Mountain Creeks to Metro Canals

April 13-15, 2021
RMS welcomes you as a river manager, scientist, planner, legal expert or river conservation and recreation advocate!  Brush up skills as you grow your network of outdoor resource students and professionals at this every other year international training on topics related to river management and planning.

Learn more and register.

Science Corner: A New Storymap to Put Your Data to Action at the State Level

The latest from our science team.

How does your state support collection and use of community watershed science into clean water programs? How does this compare to other states? Now, you can find out all of this in one place: our new storymap, “How States and Natural Resource Agencies Support Community Watershed Science.” Produced as part of our work with the Water Data Collaborative, this map shows where states are using and deploying a range of practices to support, standardize, and move community-collected data to action. State agencies can be great partners in applying your data – learn what your state is doing and get ideas about additional steps they can take to replicate good ideas from around the country.

Explore the map.

What We’re Reading (and Watching and Listening To!)

Finding My Voice – Megan Nguyen: Enjoy this brand new video featuring 2020 Emerging Leader Megan Nguyen! Learn how she found her voice to start speaking out for water, climate, and justice.

Rules of the Game: Bolder Advocacy provides a great podcast series diving into how you can be an advocate within your 501c3 organization. Listen and learn about get out the vote, lobbying, and protecting post-election democracy.

The Ethical Rainmaker: This new podcast from host Michelle Shireen Muri explores some of the practices that undermine our organizations’ missions and discusses new ways forward for nonprofit philanthropy and fundraising.

Waste – One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret: 2020 River Hero Catherine Coleman Flowers has a new book out this month! Released on 11/17, Waste shows how sanitation is becoming too big a problem to ignore as climate change brings sewage to more backyards.