River advocates wear many different hats.
The office cap helps conservationists focus on compiling information for government agencies. A scientist’s hat helps he or she venture deep into the wilderness seeking a source. An educator’s headress might be bright and flashy, helping draw attention to creative solutions and new ideas.
However, these hats don’t stay on very easily.
Opposition to ideas and change make fighting for our natural resources a tough job. In order to continue successfully, these river advocates need to come together to share ideas, gain inspiration and-most importantly-connect with others fighting for our rivers.
The National River Rally does just that. This event, hosted by River Network, brings together these advocates from across the country for one uplifting weekend of workshops, presentations and community.
River Network, leading the charge for America’s watershed protection movement, is the main branch of a river conservation system that spans the country. This organization supports and connects hundreds of smaller tributaries to the system. These are the local and regional groups working to protect their own watersheds. Some are larger forks of the main branch, some are backyard creeks. Just as groundwater and smaller streams connect to larger rivers, each of these organizations uses River Network to unify the water conservation movement.
In the Columbia River Gorge, local partners include Friends of the White Salmon and Columbia Riverkeeper, as well as several organizations in Portland. Working on land use issues, river access and wildlife protection, these local organizations play a vital role in the health of our favorite playgrounds: the White Salmon River, Klickitat River and Columbia River.
Once a year, partner organizations across the country recharge their conservation batteries at the National River Rally.
This year, the rally will take place in Charleston, SC from June 3-6. Participants will be able to:
- Influence public policy for the protection of aquatic ecosystems
- Aquire tools and stretegies for reducing pollution
- Learn how to turn data into action
- Join forces with other groups in a national campaign to save energy by using less water
- Meet federal staff ready to share new resources and information
- Build successful fundraising, communication and management skills
- Energize supporters and board members
And much more…
Over 50 workshops will be offered covering topics such as:
- E-ssential tips for using the internet as a non-profit
- 401 water quality certification education
- Culturally compatible communications and working with populations whose viewpoints differ from your own
- Blue Trails
- Bringing climate change to hometown creeks
- Clean Water Act: Analysis through a biological lense
- Codes, ordinances and funding for green infrastructure
- Communication and controversy, dealing with combative responsies to conservation
- Corridor conservation strategies
Participants find the River Rally to provide that extra boost in energy needed to continue working within conservation.
Many river advocates find themselves fighting alone, trying to win the hearts of large populations with only their own passion carrying them through each day. Our freshwater lifelines depend on events like the River Rally to keep the movement flowing strong.