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Gary Belan, Senior Director, Clean Water Program at American Rivers, shared the following:

American Rivers’ current priorities: For nearly 50 years, the mission of American Rivers has been to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature. Our vision is grounded in a deep-rooted belief that healthy rivers are essential to all life and that we must accelerate and expand our impact to respond to the growing urgency around the growing crises of climate change, racial injustice and biodiversity loss.  To address these challenges, our priorities are to protect 1 million miles of rivers by 2030 (prioritizing miles nearer communities of color and Tribal Nations) and remove 30,000 unnecessary dams by 2050, ensure all communities have clean water and champion a powerful river movement.

Geographic areas American Rivers works in: As a national organization, American Rivers is focused on river protection, dam removals and conserving clean water across the country. We do have regional offices across the country that focus on their specific watersheds, while our national office helps connect those regional approaches to national policy advocacy.

How American Rivers connects with Urban Waters: Urban Waters partners can partner with American Rivers by:

1.                   Hosting a river clean up and partnering with our National Rivers Clean Up Program.

2.                   Nominating a river for Most Endangered Rivers consideration. 

3.                   Working with us to amplify frontline voices to ensure the $44 Billion of federal clean water and drinking water funding supports communities that need that water infrastructure funding the most.

4.                   Connect with one of our regional offices to partner on local river and clean water priorities.

Favorite part(s) of the watershed: Because we work across the country, we work in many different watersheds. Every river is important and has its own unique personality – we love all of our rivers!

Favorite accomplishment to date: Our favorite accomplishment to date has to be working with our partners to successfully advocate for the historic federal investment for clean water infrastructure in 2021. The challenge will be ensuring these funds are prioritized for historically underinvested communities and for climate resilient projects.  

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