Who Is Your River Champion?

This blog was written by marketing and communications intern, Kathryn McDaniel

Green River, UT - credit Greg Pflug

Green River, UT | © Greg Pflug

Nominate a River Champion today »

In honor of 40 years of protecting and restoring rivers American Rivers is recognizing 40 notable people who have made contributions to river and wildlife conservation. American Rivers was founded in 1973 to protect the last wild rivers in America.

Since then we have protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. And it is because of the help of our members, activists, volunteers and supporters that we are stronger and more effective than ever. That’s why we are proud to announce the 1st annual River Champions.

Over the years, these people have worked hard to protect, restore and raise awareness for river and wildlife conservation. We would like to recognize them by naming them as River Champions. The staff of American Rivers has come up with the first set of twenty people for this distinction and we need you to help come up with the next twenty.

Among the twenty individuals chosen as a River Champion by American Rivers staff members are actors, photographers, CEOs, conservationists and politicians. These are just a few of the incredible individuals chosen for their work and inspiration to river conservation efforts across the country.

Now we need your help. Do you have a family member, friend or someone you admire for their work with rivers and water conservation? Is there a group in your community that is always looking out for your local river?

We need you to nominate them as a River Champion!

Don’t forget to honor an individual or group whose exemplary contributions have shaped our rivers for many years to come, by submitting your nomination today!

13 Responses to “Who Is Your River Champion?”

Angela Siddall

I would like to nominate Matt Stoecker for his work with Beyond Searsville Dam.

Vicki Ramsay

Valley Stewardship Network, of Viroqua, WI is always working to protect the Kickapoo River Valley and nearby watersheds. Through community outreach and education, connection with local farmers and landowners and partnering with other organizations in our area who devote their time and energy to saving wildlife and water resources, Valley Stewardship Network listens to the citizens of the Kickapoo Valley and works hard to protect this amazing, ancient resource.

C. Cruickshank

Matt Stoecker from the Palo Alto area is my nomination. He is fighting Stanford University to get the antiquated and destructive Searsville Dam removed. Doing this would make a healthy environment for the endangered steelhead, and now extinct salmon from this watershed. This battle has been going on for about a decade at least. He is also active in many other watershed activities doing his best to keep healthy watersheds in California, and to some degree nationwide. His website is beyondsearsvilledam. With the power of American Rivers on board his dream, along with many others, a healthy Sanfrancisquito Creek is closer than ever.

Thanks, Cliff


Thre Is a group here in New Buffalo Michigan But I do not know who it is?

Danielle White

SYRCL South Yuba River Citizens League
in Nevada City California

Peggy conroy

Donna Lisenby has been the hardest working, smartest person I know trying to protect rivers as well as all water on the planet for decades. She was Riverkeeper for the Catawba river in NC for a long time and now works to rid the planet of its biggest polluter, king coal which has trashed so much of the waters in Appalachia and around the world.

Candace Bouchard

Donna Lisenby is a champion of clean water, especially for waters that run through North and South Carolina and surrounding states. She has been the Catawba Riverkeeper and Wautauga Riverkeeper for a total of 20 years, and works under the auspices of Waterkeeper Alliance. Her work, and those of her partner Riverkeepers is unprecedented.

Pat Nagel

I nominate Matt Herbert who works for Natures Conservancy and is an avid envirormentalist. He keeps all of us he knows, on our toes, to keep trying to keep our world alive and healthy!

Dusti Faucher

All river-huggers in Maine are mu heroes! Bill Townsend, Jeff Reardon, John Burrows, Laura Rose Day, John Banks and Landis Hudson to name just a few who have worked tirelessly for decades on river issues. Also, can’t forget my own amazing group–Friends of the Presumpscot River!!

Sarah Costello

I’d like to nominate Bill Schultz. He is the Raritan Riverkeeper and has helped to develop the first comprehensive public access guide to the Raritan River and also helped to advocate for the removal of dams.

Bill LeavensBill

As Executive Director Beth Styler Barry of Musconetcong Watershed Association, has overseen the removal of four dams on the Musconetcong River in the past five years and is securing funding for feasibility studies and removal of two additional dams. She is one of the principal leaders in the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed and is Executive Director of the Musconetcong River Management Council which manages the funding for National Park Service as part of the Wild and Scenic River program. She is actively pursuing advanced studies in fluvial geomorphology and is the mother of five outstanding kids.

bill harclerode

I second the nomination of BEth Styler Barry, Ex Dir of Msconetcong Watershed Association, for her leadership in getting things done to improve water quality within the watershed.

Cliff Dweller

Sam Perkins, Program Director for the Catawba RiverKeeper Foundation (CRF). Sam is level headed and has done much of the ‘boots in the mud’ investigation that has allowed CRF to bring suit against Duke Energy about the water pollution resulting from their mountains of coal ash. Sam will be an expert witness during the proceedings. We should not forget the staff and active volunteers at CRF. Thanks to all of you out there around the world who care about the waters. – a volunteer