River conservation and water conservation is about preserving all waterways worldwide so that they can be enjoyed both through responsible recreation and for the sake of the environment. As outdoor lovers and river enthusiasts ourselves, we wanted to share some great organizations doing fantastic things.
American Rivers tackle multiple angles including wild river protection, damaged river restoration, and conserve clean water for humans and wildlife alike. Through advocacy, fieldwork, and partnerships, they work all across the United States. Their website showcases their initiatives, threats that they work to counteract, and success stories. We are also fans of their podcast We Are Rivers.
Founded in 1954, American Whitewater works to “protect and restore America’s whitewater rivers and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.” It focuses on preserving waterways for the enjoyment of both human-powered recreation as well as for scientific and ecological goals. By promoting spending time outdoors enjoying responsible activities out in nature, this helps emphasize the value and the importance of conserving it for future enjoyment as well. The group also promotes paddling safety.
Western Rivers Conservancy
The Western Rivers Conservancy works at protecting waterways in eleven western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming). Their work includes bigger waterways as well as smaller streams. Through land acquisition and transfers, they transfer the lands to public and private groups for “long-term conservation management”.
International Rivers focuses on the value of rivers for the communities that directly depend on them, many of which are indigenous, and traditionally-living people around the world. Founded in 1985 they have worked on water and renewable energy planning, minimizing the impact of dam projects through corporate accountability, the fundamental human right of access to clean water, as well as preserving biodiversity and reducing environmental impact for a more sustainable future. Working in Africa, Asia, and Latin America the group works with some of the most vulnerable people who need their help and support most.
The Waterkeeper Alliance operates with the goal of “drinkable, fishable, swimmable water everywhere,” uniting some 300 Waterkeeper groups across 6 continents. Originally started in 1966 by blue-collar fishermen in New York City working against the damage caused by industrial pollutants, the organization has grown dramatically, working on initiatives in over 45 countries around the world. They take on all parts of the movement from collecting polluted samples to litigation, as well as advocating and education, all for the sake of universal clean water.
These are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the number of river and waterway conservation groups out there. Whether you’re looking to help out locally, nationally, or internationally there are many deserving conservationist organizations that work hard to protect and preserve waterways around the globe for us and future generations to continue to enjoy connecting with nature, as well as the wildlife that calls these ecosystems home. When it comes to appreciating our waterways we invite you to get outside and join us on either our half-day or full-day whitewater river rafting trips. After some time out on the river, you’ll have an even greater appreciation of their value.