Kansas Riverkeeper Honored as River Hero


Margarita Diaz, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental A.C. (Mexico); Michael Taylor, Illinois Water Trailkeeper (IL); Jane Sherman, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (RI); Joe Payne, Casco Baykeeper/Friends of Casco Bay (ME); Laura Calwell, Friends of the Kaw (KS)


Empowering communities throughout the Tijuana River Watershed, giving back as a tireless volunteer river trail steward in Illinois, developing national showcases of urban renewal in Rhode Island, improving water quality in Maine’s Casco Bay, and being a leading advocate for rivers in Kansas are just a few of the accomplishments of an extraordinary group of individuals who have dedicated themselves to protecting our most vital natural resource—water.

Since 2002, sixty-two individuals from around the U.S and world have been honored with this prestigious award.

“We couldn’t be more impressed than we are by the important work these individuals and their organizations are doing to make a meaningful impact on water resources around the nation”, said Nicole Silk, River Network President. “Their dedication to – and love of rivers and water- is what inspires us all.”

In addition, each year River Network celebrates one individual’s accomplishments with the James R. Compton River Achievement Award. This year’s honoree is Rebecca Wodder (Washington, DC). Rebecca is a nationally known environmental leader who has devoted her career to conservation causes, beginning with the first Earth Day in 1970, and as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI) on environmental and energy issues. Most recently she served at the U.S. Department of the Interior as Senior Advisor to Secretary Ken Salazar, advancing river and watershed objectives. Rebecca was nominated by President Obama for the post of Assistant Secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. She previously served as President of American Rivers from 1995-2011.

River Network hosted the 2014 River Heroes Award winners at a banquet during this year’s River Rally conference in Pittsburgh, PA May 30-June 2.

For details about the River Hero program, visit www.riverheroes.org. Nominations are now open for 2015 River Heroes.

About River Network
River Network is empowering a national watershed protection movement that includes more than 2,000 local, state and regional grassroots organizations whose primary mission is to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain the health of our country. For twenty-five years, River Network has worked closely with watershed protection groups from coast to coast – building the capacity of state and local organizations, assisting people grappling with water and environmental health problems, protecting habitat for fish and wildlife, developing blue cities and reducing our country’s use of water and energy. Visit us online at www.rivernetwork.org or on Facebook.

Friends of the Kaw Recieves a Paddle Nation Grant

Outdoor Nation has provided $2,500 to Friends of the Kaw for Keeping the Dream Alive: Connecting Underserved Students with the Kansas River National Water Trail. Friends of the Kaw is working with the staff at the National Park Service’s Brown v. Board of Education site and Freedom Frontier to provide a paddling experience for the Boys and Girls Club Day Camps this summer on June 11, 18, 25, July 9 and 16 (all Wednesdays.) We will either take the group on the Kansas River from De Soto access to Cedar Creek access or to Kill Creek Lake. We NEED VOLUNTEERS on those days between 9:30 and 2:30pm. If you have a kayak or canoe and want to bring it that would be great or we also need folks to help paddle one of Friends of the Kaw’s boats. If you can help out please contact the Kansas Riverkeeper.