Pacific Environment is a nonprofit organization that protects the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and reforming international policies.
Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center works collaboratively with business, government, non-government organizations, and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention.
Park County Environmental Council
Park County Environmental Council works through advocacy and education to preserve and restore the county’s world-class rivers, diverse wildlife, landscapes and outstanding natural beauty.
The Riverkeeper mission is to conserve, protect and replenish the state’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway through strategic advocacy, restoration and education to achieve long term sustainability for the ecosystem of the entire Patuxent River basin and the people who rely on its future.
Peaceful Uprising is committed to defending a livable future through empowering nonviolent action, seeks to change the institutional and social status quo at the root of the climate crisis, and move toward a just and healthy world.
The Pembina Institute is a Canadian non-profit think tank that advances sustainable energy solutions through research, education, consulting and advocacy.
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Pennsylvania Environmental Council protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy.
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association seeks to protect Pennsylvania’s special places—the farms, forests, parks and other green spaces that people love—the places that help to ensure healthy, prosperous and secure communities.
People for Puget Sound
The vision of People for Puget Sound is a clean and healthy Sound, teeming with fish and wildlife, cared for by people who live here.
People’s Alliance for Clean Energy
People’s Alliance for Clean Energy endorses and promotes conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy as central to a program to help the economy grow, to make America safer, and to protect the environment.
People's Oil & Gas Collaborative-Ohio
The People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative - Ohio (POGCO) is a nonpartisan group composed of individuals from many aspects of the oil and gas industry, real estate and various engineering and other professions who have collaborated since 2007 to provide the public and lawmakers with unbiased factual data. We believe surface owners, oil and gas employees and citizens living near operations deserve fair and equal treatment under the law with regard to health, safety and property rights.
Pesticide Action Network North America
Pesticide Action Network North America works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility is a nonprofit organization that is the medical and public health voice for policies to prevent nuclear war and proliferation and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment.
Piedmont Environmental Council of Virginia
Piedmont Environmental Council of Virginia’s mission is to safeguard the landscapes, communities and heritage of the Piedmont by involving citizens in public policy and land conservation.
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
Policy Matters Ohio
The mission of Policy Matters Ohio is to create a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio, through research, media work and policy advocacy.
Political Correction is a new project aimed at holding conservative politicians and advocacy groups accountable.
Post Carbon Institute
Post Carbon Institute provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental, and equity crises that define the 21st century.
PostCarbon/Relocalize Rhode Island
PostCarbon/Relocalize Rhode Island is a developing project meant to support Rhode Islanders working towards a sustainable future in the midst of unprecedented growing energy and resource challenges.
Potomac Conservancy safeguards the lands and waters of the Potomac River and its tributaries and connects people to this national treasure.
The Riverkeeper’s mission is to stop pollution and to restore clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and tributaries through enforcement and community engagement.
At Power Shift 2011, we'll reclaim our democracy from big corporations and push our nation to move beyond dirty energy sources that are harming the health of people and the planet.
Practical Farmers of Iowa
Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-led investigation and information sharing.
Prairie Rivers Network
Prairie Rivers Network strives to protect the rivers and streams of Illinois and to promote the lasting health and beauty of watershed communities.
Preserve the Dunes
Preserve the Dunes’ purpose is to protect the sand dunes of southwest Michigan from harm and destruction.
Project for Public Spaces
Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.
The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, teachers and community members of the world with water education.
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
Public Campaign Action Fund
Public Campaign Action Fund is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws.
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
Protecting the waters of Puget Sound now and for future generations
Rainforest Action Network
Rainforest Action Network campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
Rare and its partners in 50+ countries are committed to designing conservation programs that benefit both people and nature – ensuring that change is embraced and sustained.
ReClam the Bay
Our mission is to involve and educate the public about the estuary’s water quality and the importance of shellfish. We believe that by involving the public in the care, feeding and life cycles of the shellfish they will better understand what an integral role shellfish have in our lives.
Launched in 2008 in a pioneering speech by former Vice President Al Gore, Repower America is a bold campaign for a transition to clean, renewable energy in order to solve the climate crisis.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is made up of campaign staff from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, working collaboratively to restore the Mississippi River Delta.
Ride for Renewables
No tar sands on American Soil.
Rising Tide North America
Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.
River Alliance of Wisconsin
Our mission is to advocate for the protection, enhancement and restoration of Wisconsin’s rivers and watersheds.
River Network is the online hub of a network of more than 2,000 state, regional and local grassroots organizations whose primary mission is protecting our most vital natural resource—water.
River Revitalization Foundation
The mission of the River Revitalization Foundation is to establish a parkway for public access, walkways, recreation and education, bordering the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers; to use the rivers to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods; and to improve water quality.
To protect the environmental, recreational and commercial integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and safeguard the drinking water of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.
Rock the Capital
Rock the Capital is a political platform designed to engage objective and non-ideological dialogue, promote political commentary while capturing timely issues and themes with a focus on honesty, transparency and efficiency.
Rocky Mountain Wild
Our mission is to protect, connect, and restore wildlife and wild lands in the Rocky Mountain region.
Round River Conservation Studies
Round River is dedicated to conservation strategies that preserve and restore wild places.
Rural Action’s mission is to foster social, economic and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio.
Rural Advancement Foundation International
At RAFI-USA, we:
- Promote conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity as insurance against human and natural disasters.
- Educate farmers, consumers and policy-makers about the importance of sustainable agriculture for rural and urban communities.
- Safeguard soil, water, air and rural communities through promotion of sustainable agricultural practices and sound rural development.
- Advise farmers and their communities of rights and opportunities.
- Assist agricultural communities in having a voice for their concerns and in organizational development.
- Link communities together for the common good.
The Mission of Rural Nelson is to preserve and enhance the rural quality of life enjoyed by Nelson County residents by developing broad-based support for informed growth policies that:
• Support agricultural and forestal activities;
• Preserve our historic heritage and the integrity of our natural resource systems;
• Protect affordable housing opportunities for Nelson residents;
• Encourage commercial development and design appropriate to Nelson’s rural character.
People's Oil & Gas Collaborative- Ohio
The People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative - Ohio (POGCO) is a nonpartisan group composed of individuals from many aspects of the oil and gas industry, real estate and various engineering and other professions who have collaborated since 2007 to provide the public and lawmakers with unbiased factual data.
By Katy Neusteter
The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.
Public Health<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyNDY3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDkxMTkwNn0.pyP14Bg1WvcUvF_xUGgYVu8PS7Lu49Huzc3PXGvATi4/img.jpg?width=980" id="8e577" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1efb3445f5c445e47d5937a72343c012" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="3000" data-height="2302" />
Wild and Scenic Merced River, California. Bob Wick / BLM<p>Let's begin with COVID-19. More than <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">16 million Americans</a> have contracted the coronavirus and, tragically,<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank"> more than</a> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">300,000 have died</a> due to the pandemic. While health officials encourage hand-washing to contain the pandemic, at least <a href="https://closethewatergap.org/" target="_blank">2 million Americans</a> are currently living without running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater treatment. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank">aging water infrastructure is growing increasingly costly for utilities to maintain</a>. That cost is passed along to consumers. The upshot? <a href="https://research.msu.edu/affordable-water-in-us-reaching-a-crisis/" target="_blank">More than 13 million</a> U.S. households regularly face unaffordable water bills — and, thus, the threat of water shutoffs. Without basic access to clean water, families and entire communities are at a higher risk of <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2020/08/05/488705/bridging-water-access-gap-covid-19-relief/" target="_blank">contracting</a> and spreading COVID-19.</p><p>We have a moral duty to ensure that everyone has access to clean water to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Last spring, <a href="https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/coronavirus-stimulus-bill-explained-bailouts-unemployment-benefits.html" target="_blank">Congress appropriated more than $4 trillion</a> to jumpstart the economy and bring millions of unemployed Americans back to work. Additional federal assistance — desperately needed — will present a historic opportunity to improve our crumbling infrastructure, which has been <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">grossly underfunded for decades</a>.</p><p>A report by my organization, American Rivers, suggests that <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Congress must invest at least $50 billion</a> "to address the urgent water infrastructure needs associated with COVID-19," including the rising cost of water. This initial boost would allow for the replacement and maintenance of sewers, stormwater infrastructure and water supply facilities.</p>
Economic Recovery<p>Investing in water infrastructure and healthy rivers also creates jobs. Consider, for example, that <a href="https://tinyurl.com/y9p6sgnk" target="_blank">every $1 million spent on water infrastructure in the United States generates more than 15 jobs</a> throughout the economy, according to a report by the Value of Water Campaign. Similarly, <a href="https://tinyurl.com/yyvd2ksp" target="_blank">every "$1 million invested in forest and watershed restoration contracting will generate between 15.7 and 23.8 jobs,</a> depending on the work type," states a working paper released by the Ecosystem Workforce Program, University of Oregon. Healthy rivers also spur tourism and recreation, which many communities rely on for their livelihoods. According to the findings by the Outdoor Industry Association, which have been shared in our report, "Americans participating in watersports and fishing spend over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">$174 billion</a> on gear and trip related expenses. And, the outdoor watersports and fishing economy supports over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">1.5 million jobs nationwide</a>."</p><p>After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress invested in infrastructure to put Americans back to work. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act <a href="https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/25941-clean-water-green-infrastructure-get-major-boost" target="_blank">of 2009 (ARRA) allocated $6 billion</a> for clean water and drinking water infrastructure to decrease unemployment and boost the economy. More specifically, <a href="https://www.conservationnw.org/news-updates/us-reps-push-for-millions-of-restoration-and-resilience-jobs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an analysis of ARRA</a> "showed conservation investments generated 15 to 33 jobs per million dollars," and more than doubled the rate of return, according to a letter written in May 2020 by 79 members of Congress, seeking greater funding for restoration and resilience jobs.</p><p>Today, when considering how to create work for the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10.7 million</a> people who are currently unemployed, Congress should review previous stimulus investments and build on their successes by embracing major investments in water infrastructure and watershed restoration.</p>
Racial Justice<p>American Rivers also recommends that Congress dedicate <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">$500 billion for rivers and clean water over the next 10 years</a> — not just for the benefit of our environment and economy, but also to begin to address the United States' history of deeply entrenched racial injustice.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.epa.gov/npdes/sanitary-sewer-overflows-ssos" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">23,000-75,000 sewer overflows</a> that occur each year release up to <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/2020/05/fighting-for-rivers-means-fighting-for-justice/#:~:text=There%20are%20also%2023%2C000%20to%2075%2C000%20sanitary%20sewer,to%20do%20with%20the%20mission%20of%20American%20Rivers." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 billion gallons of toxic sewage</a> <em>every day</em> into rivers and streams. This disproportionately impacts communities of color, because, for generations, Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color have been <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flooding-disproportionately-harms-black-neighborhoods/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">relegated</a> to live in flood-prone areas and in neighborhoods that have been intentionally burdened with a lack of development that degrades people's health and quality of life. In some communities of color, incessant flooding due to stormwater surges or <a href="https://www.ajc.com/opinion/opinion-partnering-to-better-manage-our-water/7WQ6SEAQP5E4LGQCEYY5DO334Y/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">combined sewer overflows</a> has gone unmitigated for decades.</p><p>We have historically treated people as separate from rivers and water. We can't do that anymore. Every voice — particularly those of people most directly impacted — must have a loudspeaker and be included in decision-making at the highest levels.</p><p>Accordingly, the new administration must diligently invest in projects at the community level that will improve lives in our country's most marginalized communities. We also must go further to ensure that local leaders have a seat at the decision-making table. To this end, the Biden-Harris administration should restore <a href="https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401#:~:text=Section%20401%20Certification%20The%20Clean%20Water%20Act%20%28CWA%29,the%20United%20States.%20Learn%20more%20about%20401%20certification." target="_blank">Section 401 of the Clean Water Act</a>, which was undermined by the <a href="https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/tribes-and-environmental-groups-sue-trump-administration-to-preserve-clean-water-protections#:~:text=Under%20Section%20401%20of%20the%20Clean%20Water%20Act%2C,seeks%20to%20undermine%20that%20authority%20in%20several%20ways%3A" target="_blank">Trump administration's 2020 regulatory changes</a>. This provision gives states and tribes the authority to decide whether major development projects, such as hydropower and oil and gas projects, move forward.</p>
Climate Resilience<p>Of course, the menacing shadow looming over it all? Climate change. <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">More than 100 climate-related catastrophes</a> have pummeled the Earth since the pandemic was declared last spring, including the blitzkrieg of megafires, superstorms and heat waves witnessed during the summer of 2020, directly impacting the lives of more than <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">50 million people globally</a>.</p><p>Water and climate scientist Brad Udall often says, "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQhpj5G0dME" target="_blank">Climate change is water change</a>." In other words, the most obvious and dire impacts of climate change are evidenced in profound changes to our rivers and water resources. You've likely seen it where you live: Floods are more damaging and frequent. Droughts are deeper and longer. Uncertainty is destabilizing industry and lives.</p><p>By galvanizing action for healthy rivers and managing our water resources more effectively, we can insure future generations against the consequences of climate change. First, we must safeguard rivers that are still healthy and free-flowing. Second, we must protect land and property against the ravages of flooding. And finally, we must promote policies and practical solutions that take the science of climate disruption into account when planning for increased flooding, water shortage and habitat disruption.</p><p>Imagine all that rivers do for us. Most of our towns and cities have a river running through them or flowing nearby. Rivers provide clean drinking water, irrigate crops that provide our food, power our homes and businesses, provide wildlife habitat, and are the lifeblood of the places where we enjoy and explore nature, and where we play and nourish our spirits. Healthy watersheds help <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059952" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mitigate</a> climate change, absorbing and reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Healthy rivers and floodplains help communities adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change by improving flood protection and providing water supply and quality benefits. Rivers are the cornerstones of healthy, strong communities.</p><p>The more than <a href="https://archive.epa.gov/water/archive/web/html/index-17.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">3 million miles</a> of rivers and streams running across our country are a source of great strength and opportunity. When we invest in healthy rivers and clean water, we can improve our lives. When we invest in rivers, we create jobs and strengthen our economy. When we invest in rivers, we invest in our shared future.</p>
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