American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature.

In 1973, the United States was losing its best rivers at an alarming rate. A group of river runners and conservationists met in Denver to confront the fact that unnecessary dams were silencing many of the nation’s last wild, free-flowing rivers. These river advocates also were concerned that Congress had failed to grant federal protection to any rivers since the original Wild and Scenic Rivers Act passed in 1968.

They decided to form a national river conservation organization, and American Rivers was born.

We had to move fast or we would lose our best rivers. [The early 70’s] was the golden age of dam building and we needed to fight back.Brent Blackwelder, co-founder of American Rivers

Thanks to our supporters, American Rivers has built a strong track record of success. While fighting for wild, free-flowing rivers remains a priority, over the years we have expanded our advocacy to include restoring damaged rivers and ensuring ample water supplies for cities and farms.

Together with more than 275,000 members, activists, and volunteers, we make a difference every day for clean water, rivers and communities nationwide.