American Rivers Calls for Unity Around Clean Water, Releases River Conservation Agenda for the New Administration

November 10, 2016

November 9, 2016

Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145,

(Washington, DC) – Following one of the most divisive presidential elections in American history culminating in the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, American Rivers underscored the importance of clean water and healthy rivers to the well-being of all Americans. The national river conservation organization vowed to safeguard clean water supplies, defend rivers from harmful development and work at the local, state and national levels to ensure all communities can realize the many benefits of healthy rivers.

American Rivers released A Nation of Rivers: A River Conservation Agenda for the New Administration available at

“Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Green or Independent, we all need clean and safe water. Nothing in the election results changes the fact that clean water and healthy rivers are more important than ever for our families and communities. As a nation, we need to focus on what unites us, not divides us. At American Rivers, we will redouble our efforts to protect and restore rivers because they are essential to our nation’s economy and environment, and the health and well-being of every American,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers.

“Rivers connect us, and clean water can and should be a bipartisan issue. Clean water is one of the most pressing issues facing our nation. Too many communities have been rocked by water crises, from lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan to toxic algae fouling drinking water supplies in Toledo, Ohio, to a chemical spill in West Virginia’s Elk River. Flooding recently devastated communities across the Carolinas while drought grips many western states. The management of our water resources has a direct impact on the health and well-being of every American.”

“The need for action is urgent. Our nation’s water infrastructure is outdated and climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of floods and droughts. By uniting around healthy rivers, we can improve public health and safety, ensure reliable water supplies, grow our economy and boost quality of life in communities nationwide.”

A Nation of Rivers: A River Conservation Agenda for the New Administration presents six priority actions that will benefit rivers and communities:

  1. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act with a bold initiative to strengthen and expand the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  2. Establish a Clean Water Trust Fund to finance improvements to natural and man-made infrastructure to ensure that clean water is readily available to all Americans.
  3. Adopt integrated water resources management as the organizing principle for federal water management.
  4. Launch an “Open Rivers Initiative” to coordinate and prioritize dam removal across the country.
  5. Improve protection and management of the nation’s floodplains.
  6. Prioritize and focus Farm Bill programs and other agriculture funding to solve water and river conservation challenges.

“From protecting our last wild rivers to removing outdated dams to improving water infrastructure and floodplain management, this agenda outlines specific river conservation priorities for the new administration. For the sake of our nation’s priceless river heritage, the health of our children and the prosperity of our country, we are ready to work with the new administration to achieve these goals,” Irvin said.

Rivers provide more than two-thirds of our drinking water supplies. They are vital to fish and wildlife. River-related recreation and tourism contributes more than $97 billion to the U.S. economy each year, according to the Outdoor Industry Foundation. Healthy rivers are economic engines and water is a smart investment: every $1 spent on water infrastructure generates nearly $3 to the private economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has 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. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at,, and