Chelsea SilvaHealthy Rivers Program Manager

Chelsea Silva

Originally from Boise, Idaho, Chelsea Silva (she/her) now lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Newe Sogobia (Eastern Shoshone), Timpanogos, Goshute, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands.

Chelsea joined River Network in 2022. As the Healthy Rivers Program Manager, Chelsea supports practitioners in Colorado and other western states by providing capacity-building support to local coalitions as they assess and plan for their rivers, and designing and hosting peer calls and field days for statewide peer learning networks. Chelsea has spent her career dedicated to creating space for diverse groups to participate in equitable watershed planning and management. She served as Executive Director of a small nonprofit watershed organization, spent five years in university settings researching landowner perceptions and decision-making about water and other natural resources in the U.S. and Latin America, and she is trained in natural resource facilitation. Chelsea has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages (Spanish) from the University of Idaho, and a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences & Policy from Northern Arizona University.

Outside of work, Chelsea is volunteering in her community, riding bicycles, playing in nature, cooking, gardening, aunting, and crafting.


What motivates you to go to work everyday?

Floating the Yampa River with peer learning network friends in July 2022.

I am motivated by the talented, curious, and passionate folks who make up our peer learning networks. I am also motivated by my supportive and wonderful coworkers and Board members at River Network.

What called you to work in water?

I grew up exploring nature on bike rides with my sisters and mom along the Boise River Greenbelt. My mom organized “treasure hunts” for my sisters and I to collect disposed aluminum cans out of the riverbed which inspired me to dedicate my life to protecting and restoring rivers.

If you didn’t work in water or conservation, what would you be doing?

My interests are many. If I wasn’t in water or conservation, I would be making pizza, teaching Spanish or science, doing art, working at a craft store, or wrenching on bicycles.

DC site-seeing via rental bicycle after River Rally 2022.