River Voices: November 2022
Welcome to the November 2022 edition of River Voices. This month, we’re sharing the culmination of four years of river planning in Colorado’s Yampa River Basin and looking ahead to the action to come. Plus, next Tuesday is Election Day!
For the last four years, tucked in the northwestern corner of Colorado, a group of 27 stakeholders representing a diverse range of interest groups has come together to write an Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP). Over this four-year period, the IWMP conducted assessments and identified consensus-driven strategies that seek to maintain a balanced river system well into the future. And now, it’s time for action. Learn how we’ve supported this process, what we’ve learned, and what comes next.
We each rely upon the river differently, and have different goals for it, so it was a big achievement for all of us to get on the same page with how we define what a river that balances human use and ecological integrity looks like. Our consensus-based definition isn’t what any one stakeholder would have developed, but its beauty is in the level of buy-in that we all now have.”
-Nicole Seltzer, River Network Colorado River Basin Program Director
River Network’s River Programs Policy and Research Associate Erin Kanzig joined Cumberland River Compact (CRC) for their podcast, River Talks, to talk about PFAS in Tennessee. In each episode of River Talks CRC explores a new topic related to the health, enjoyment, and protection of the Cumberland River basin’s water, people, and special places. Give it a listen!
LIHWAP, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program created and funded through emergency Covid-19 legislation in December 2020 and March 2021, is the first national water assistance program of its kind, but was authorized as an emergency program, and is set to expire in the fall of 2023. Hear from our staff on what’s still needed and what’s ahead.
“One thing we’ve always done well is the people. Bringing science and concern and stewardship into the river and this community and getting people to show up and listen… Now we’re trying to put more teeth behind our work by moving projects forward ourselves.” Lindsey is Executive Director at Friends of the Yampa and has focused her life on environmental stewardship and immersion.
“There are watersheds everywhere. There are communities everywhere. There are people with passion and power, and very different skills everywhere. It is an exciting reminder of what we are capable of as people who care about healing water and making our communities safe and healthy places.”
The Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) is a partnership between Groundwork USA and River Network. This month, meet Araceli, Program Assistant for Plaster Creek Stewards and a connector, educator, and creator in the Plaster Creek Watershed.
Last month, we released a fully updated 3rd Edition of our Clean Water Act Owner’s Manual. In an effort to bring the detailed and technical components of the Clean Water Act to life, we share five community stories throughout the Manual.
One story comes from Philadelphia and local organization, Bartram’s Garden. Learn how students and volunteers are working with Bartram’s Garden to fill water monitoring gaps to track combined sewer outfall contamination and advocate for protections for the tidal portion of the Schuylkill River.
Events & Learning Opportunities
Nov. 9 & 16, 9a PT / 12p ET
Organizations of all sizes are facing budget challenges this decade driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting funder priorities, stimulus money and more. In this series, River Network will host The Fellows Group to talk about budget approaches and restricted vs. unrestricted funding.
Nov. 10 & 16; Dec. 1 & 14
Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC) is offering many webinars this month and throughout December that may be of interest to network members. Topics include Indigenous land stewardship, shared leadership models, and more.
Exploring the Intersections of Environmental Justice and Equitable Development in Infrastructure Investments
Dec. 8, 10a PT / 1p ET
Join the Urban Waters Learning Network for a live session on how to engage in conversation on the intersections of environmental justice policy and equitable development / anti-displacement practices, including how this relates to the #Justice40 initiative.
What We’re Reading, Watching, and Listening To
- Whiteness at Work – a second cohort of our staff is participating in this training from The Adaway Group. We highly recommend it!
- Become a Good Ancestor – many on our staff also recommend these resources and their newsletter to support your EDI work.
- A Fairer Funding Stream: How Reforming the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Can Equitably Improve Water Infrastructure Across the Country – a new report from NRDC and EPIC shares what they’ve found about this important funding source.
- Tribal Waters – this Patagonia film, tracing Wind River, comes highly recommended from Gary Collins, River Network Board Member and member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, who was raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation.