Unfortunately, pollution, dams, and harmful development have made rivers and freshwater ecosystems the most imperiled in the world. Climate change is creating unprecedented challenges for rivers and water supplies.

The United States is a nation of rivers. Almost three million miles of rivers and streams shape our landscape. Rivers are the lifelines of our environment and communities, the purveyors of clean water– the most precious natural resource on earth.

American Rivers is dedicated to protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers and conserving clean water for people and nature. We advocate for laws and policies, demonstrate on the ground solutions, and communicate victories to inspire a new generation of river stewards.

American Rivers is focused on the following four priorities:

Join us in building a future of healthy rivers that sustain and connect us all!

Redoubling field and policy work on the local level: We’re working with state governments and local communities to remove more than 200 outdated dams, restore floodplains, and promote natural water infrastructure solutions.

Calling the public to action: American Rivers is the leading voice for rivers and clean water in the United States. Through media outreach, advocacy campaigns, creative storytelling, National River Cleanup® and America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, we drive positive action for rivers.



Ensuring clean and reliable water: We’re fighting to defend key safeguards for rivers and public health.

Protecting public lands and waters: We will protect 5,000 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018.



  • Rivers provide more than 66 percent of our drinking water.
  • From irrigation, transportation and power generation to recreation and tourism, rivers drive our economy.
  • Rivers support tens of thousands of species of fish, birds, and wildlife.
  • Whether you fish, paddle, hike or simply enjoy nature's beauty, rivers connect you with family, friends and the natural world.
  • Rivers are vital to our shared history, culture and heritage.

Rivers Connect U

Consider all of the ways rivers run through our lives: