River Voices: September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of River Voices, with the announcement of seven US Forest Service Wild and Scenic Rivers grant recipients and our team’s local reflections for World Rivers Day. Learn about our work with integrated water management plans in Colorado through a story from the wild Yampa River (the only Colorado River tributary without a large dam). Plus: One month left to submit a workshop proposal for River Rally 2020!

Photo courtesy of Glacier Peak Institute.
Photo courtesy of Glacier Peak Institute.

Following on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) was looking for ways to build on some of the strong collaboration between USFS staff and local groups to engage community members in protecting and restoring their local Wild and Scenic Rivers. As a result, with funding from USFS, River Network was able to offer Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Partnership project funding for the first time. Seven grant recipients were announced in late August. Learn more about each of these groups and the projects this funding will support.

Meet Sheyda Esnaashari, our Great Lakes Drinking Water Program Manager. Sheyda grew up in Minnesota, and being close to freshwater always makes her feel at home. Based in Chicago, IL, Sheyda joined us in August, continuing to build her career around social justice and the advancement of equitable policies and practices.

Read more about Sheyda’s work.


2019 marks the 15th annual World Rivers Day and this year’s theme is “waterways in our communities.” In anticipation of this day of action on September 22, our staff reflects on the rivers and waterways in our own communities, from the creeks in our backyards to the nearby lakes we escape to, and our fluffy friends’ favorite spots.

Celebrate local waters with our staff.


Do you have practical knowledge and experience that will help accelerate the pace of progress toward a sustainable and equitable water future? Join us at River Rally 2020 in San Antonio, Texas! River Network is now accepting workshop proposals related to one or more of this year’s workshop themes.

Review the guidelines and submit your workshop proposal before 10/1.

Photo courtesy of Kent Vertrees.

Connecting Stakeholders for Inclusive Planning on the Yampa

The Yampa River in northwest Colorado is a rare, wild gem, but many factors keeping the Yampa healthy also leave it without the advocacy and protection many other rivers enjoy. River Network’s Nicole Seltzer has been working to connect local stakeholders – including agriculture, recreation, and conservation groups – to develop an Integrated Water Management Plan on the Yampa and its implementation is underway. Read about our work with groups in Colorado and the Yampa IWMP.

“I had no background in water, but CAA was being asked to step up and River Network has educated me and been a resource on the process to make it truly collaborative and inclusive. ”

-Michele Meyer, Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA)

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Join the hundreds of water leaders who are paid members of River Network. Membership provides focused training and opportunities to meaningfully connect with agencies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and businesses who can fuel your work and expand your impact.

Join or renew at a 20% discount on our website. Questions? Email us!


As Director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, Kristin strategically advances the Coalition’s work to restore and protect local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay by leading the coordination of more than 230 member organizations across the watershed and working to create a collective voice for the watershed.

Click here to meet Kristin.

Webinars & Events

Centering the Community in Resilience Planning

September 12th 1:00–2:30 pm EST. Community members who are most vulnerable to climate impacts are in the best position to make decisions about how to be better prepared – this webinar provides a framework for raising community voices and provides examples of resiliency plans that benefit the most vulnerable areas in our cities.

Speakers include Corrine Van Hook-Turner and Drew Curtis.
Free webinar. Register.

Dev. Academy for Communities #1: Redevelopment Process – Intersection of Real Estate and Brownfields

September 13th 1:00–2:30 pm EST.
Ever wonder why some sites sit and some get developed? See how the brownfield redevelopment and real estate development process intersect. Fully participate in the process and understand the key players and critical decision-making steps.

Speakers include Aimee Storm, Michael Taylor, and Abbie Emison.
Free EPA webinar. Register.

Anti-Displacement Strategies: Environmental Restoration… Meet Affordable Housing

September 26th 2:00–3:00 pm EST.
One of the most effective strategies to prevent the displacement of community members following investments in environmental restoration is protecting and expanding affordable housing. Join us to learn about strategies that protect residents from displacement and how conservation and housing advocates can work together to ensure equitable development.
Free webinar. 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 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.

TREC’s Nonprofit Salary Survey

Training Resources for the Environmental Community is surveying compensation programs and benefit plans for environmental organizations in North America. Participate before 9/10 and receive the report for free.

Are You on the Map?

As we celebrate World Rivers Day, join our map of 6,000+ groups, Indigenous communities, and agencies working protecting local waters. Learn more.

What We’re Reading

Where the Water Goes – “I had decided that a useful way to think about water issues of all kinds would be to trace the course of a single river, to see where the water came from and where it went.” David Owens’s 2017 book following the Colorado River continues to resonate.

Michigan’s PFAS Study – On August 16, the state of Michigan released the findings of their 2018 PFAS Sampling of Drinking Water Supplies report. The study was the first of its kind in the United States.

Great Lakes Revival Report – The International Association for Great Lakes Research’s report was released on August 14, stating, “By cleaning, reclaiming and reconnecting local communities to the waters, these communities have also catalyzed local economic development and community rebirth… they have rebuilt the emotional connection – the ‘love of the lakes.’”