American Rivers, Inc.

Rivers Connect Us

aka American Rivers   |   Washington, DC   |  www.americanrivers.org

Mission

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

Ruling year info

1984

President and CEO

Mr. Thomas C. Kiernan

Main address

1101 14th Street, NW Suite 1400

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7305963

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Two-thirds of people in the United States get their drinking water from rivers. Rivers vitalize our economy, livelihoods and agriculture. Rivers are essential for wildlife and are the lifeblood of ecosystems. We boat and fish in them, walk alongside them. They lift our spirits and connect us to the natural world, and each other. We can’t survive without rivers. Yet rivers and freshwater ecosystems are among the most imperiled on earth. Streams across our country are dammed, polluted and drained. People are using more water than rivers can provide — while some communities don’t have access to clean water. And the most existential threat of all — climate change — is putting the places that make us happy, the people we love and our health at risk.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Clean Water Supply

Water. What could be more important to our health, our communities, and our lives?  By focusing our efforts on stopping pollution from sewage spills and stormwater runoff , American Rivers is working to ensure that our rivers and streams are safe for drinking, fishing, swimming and boating. And by safeguarding small streams and wetlands, we are preserving nature’s ability to filter and supply clean water. As droughts, floods and waterborne diseases intensify with global warming, this "natural infrastructure" will become more important than ever.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists

A healthy river can increase property values, boost recreational opportunities and local business, reduce water pollution, and protect people and property from flooding. But dams, levees and other man-made structures disrupt the natural functions of rivers, leaving many of them lifeless or cut off from their communities. American Rivers is championing solutions that bring rivers back to life. We are a national leader in removing and reforming outdated dams and we are the voice for 21st century natural flood protection solutions. Through our National River Cleanup program, we help communities keep their rivers clean and trash-free. Across the country, we are proving that rivers are remarkably resilient, and when given a chance they can thrive once again.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists

Our work focuses on the reform of hydropower operation in United States. While hydropower helps us supply much needed fossil-free energy, it is not without impacts. Hydropower dams block rivers and an leave several miles of river sections dry. In addition, they block fish passage, alter habitat for aquatic species, damage water quality and harm the overall integrity of the river ecosystem. Though our hydropower reform program, we seek to modernize the operations of hydropower dams to improve their environmental performance using existing regulatory processes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists

This history of American Rivers is intimately connected to the protection of Wild and Scenic Rivers. We were founded in 1973 to fight the construction of harmful new dams and to get more rivers designated as Wild and Scenic. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018, we are bringing together grassroots partners, individuals and businesses in a united campaign for wild rivers. Our goal is to protect 5,000 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers and one million acres of riverside lands nationwide.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

River Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Pounds of trash removed through the National River Cleanup(r) program

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

River Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteers mobilized through our National River Cleanup program

River miles protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Multiracial people, Adults

Related Program

River Protection

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Miles of rivers protected as Wild & Scenic

Acres of natural habitat restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

River Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Miles of river habitat open to fish and wildlife thanks to dam removal

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

American Rivers works for a future of clean water and healthy rivers everywhere, for everyone.

American Rivers' strategies focus on three interconnected areas of need:

PROTECT HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS
• Protect our last remaining pristine rivers.
• Remove dams and restore streams and floodplains.
• Ensure that dams operate safely and efficiently.

SUPPORT THRIVING COMMUNITIES
• Advocate for policies and investment that benefit both rivers and communities’ health, safety and economic vitality.
• Advance approaches to managing water that help the system work more efficiently and better suit the needs of communities.
• Support, engage and partner with communities that are the most impacted by flooding, water scarcity and the impacts of climate change.

DEFEND CLEAN WATER
• Advocate for common-sense policies that keep water supply safe without harming river health.
• Partner with local leaders on efforts to ensure that their communities have abundant clean, affordable water.

American Rivers has been at the forefront of protecting and restoring rivers for nearly 50 years. We are the nation’s foremost authority at protecting rivers that are still healthy and restoring streams and floodplains that have been damaged. We also are the voice for rivers in the media and in the halls of Congress, ensuring that rivers — and the water they provide — are represented in national conversations and local and federal policy.

• We have national expertise with local focus.
• We have a track record of bringing together disparate interests, finding pragmatic solutions, and negotiating successful agreements around complex issues.
• We are a national leader in removing dams to restore river health, and protecting rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
• We focus on equity to address injustice and strengthen the river conservation movement.
• We have robust expertise in communications that inspire action and drive positive change.

HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS
American Rivers has led the charge to safeguard more rivers as Wild and Scenic — a designation that prohibits dams and other harmful development. Since 1973, we have permanently protected more than 150,000 miles of pristine rivers, including in Montana, Oregon, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We are currently working to secure approximately 7,500 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers and streams in California, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington — representing a 50 percent increase in the entire Wild and Scenic Rivers System. And we are helping develop language to build an international support network of protected river systems akin to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

American Rivers also leads the national movement — and has inspired a growing international effort — to remove obsolete and unsafe dams. Starting with the removal of Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River in 1999, we made the once radical-sounding idea of returning rivers to their natural, free-flowing condition mainstream. The result: hundreds of miles of restored waters, from the Penobscot in Maine to the Patapsco in Maryland to the Elwha in Washington. We have built momentum nationwide by influencing federal and local policy to make removing dams easier, more efficient and more cost effective. The trainings we hold for state agencies, project managers and other nonprofit organizations to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge have accelerated the pace of river restoration. Since 1999, we have restored fish and wildlife habitat by tearing down more than 200 dams on rivers nationwide.

THRIVING COMMUNITIES
American Rivers has helped communities everywhere from Atlanta to Tucson promote sustainable water use and equitable, resilient, innovative ways of managing drinking water, stormwater and wastewater to meet both community and ecosystem needs. We are also demonstrating how protecting source water benefits supply chains, livelihoods and quality of life. In major river basins, from the Southeast’s Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint to the Southwest’s Colorado River, we have been instrumental in moving debates over scarce water resources from conflict toward collaboration.

CLEAN WATER
No one should have to worry about the safety of their water — or whether there will be enough for the future. American Rivers was instrumental in convincing the Obama administration to protect has embarked on an effort to deepen our support of and engagement with communities most impacted by issues such as drinking water infrastructure and stormwater-related flooding. We intend to redress historic inequalities while benefiting local rivers by amplifying stories of frontline community-led groups, ensuring that local people’s perspectives and voices are represented in national policy decisions, and by approaching water-related issues with a holistic lens that considers both the river and the people it impacts.

Financials

American Rivers, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

American Rivers, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/3/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Haydock

Edward Whitney

Don Ayer

James Beh

Mark Busto

Martin Chavez

Jo-Ellen Darcy

Fred St. Goar, M.D.

John Haydock

Bill Hoffman

Robert McDermott

Jaime Pinkham

Dan Reicher

Abigail Rome

Roy Romer

David Schmitt

David Solomon

Susan Wallace

Beth Burrough

Kimberley Milligan

Tom Barney

John Costello

Karen Diver

Kristin Hull

Pallavi Phartiyal

Tillie Walton

Angela Wiggins

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/03/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/29/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.