PLATINUM2024

American Rivers, Inc.

Life Depends on Rivers

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.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nearly everyone in our country lives within a mile of a river, but too few know what their river provides. Much of our drinking water comes directly from rivers, and natural river habitats support thousands of plant and animal species. America's rivers and clean water supply are in crisis. Today, our rivers face unprecedented threats from pollution, dams, and increasing droughts and floods that destroy the river habitat wildlife need to nest, feed, and reproduce. These threats harm our health, too, putting clean drinking water at risk. Without rivers, there's no water, no wildlife, no life.

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?

Protect healthy rivers

Scientists say we must protect half of the planets remaining healthy natural areas to preserve nature and
the balance of life. By driving federal and state protections, we will safeguard 1 million miles of rivers,
from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. To do it, we are working shoulder to shoulder with
local partners to protect our healthiest, most scenic rivers under federal Wild and Scenic legislation. We
are also supporting communities experiencing more frequent and damaging flooding protect their rivers in
ways that address social inequities and improve their communities resilience to climate change impacts

Population(s) Served

We need to fundamentally transform the health of rivers in our country. Up to 85 percent of all dams in
our country are unnecessary, harmful, and even dangerous. We must remove thousands of them quickly.
Our work to remove dams has been central to American Rivers over the past decades and will be even
more important as we work to restore rivers in the decades ahead. We are prioritizing removing the worst
400 dams by 2027 and will kickstart the removal of 30,000 dams by 2050. Because removing a dam is
the single most impactful way to secure a rivers future health. We also drive national solutions to flooding
that prioritize communities safety, equity, and the health of river habitats.

Population(s) Served

We cant do this work alone. American Rivers has always been known for our willingness and ability to
work with everyone, from local partners to government agencies to decision-makers, to do whats best for
rivers. We know that the challenges to rivers are increasing dramatically. We need a powerful, diverse,
bipartisan river movement to face those challenges and drive change that makes rivers healthier and
water cleaner. And we wont stop until every river has multitudes of champions speaking up for it

Population(s) Served

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
Related Program

Protect healthy rivers

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

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

Adults

Related Program

Protect healthy rivers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Miles of rivers protected

Acres of natural habitat restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mobilize a powerful river movement.

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.

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

Charting impact

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

Protect 1 million miles of rivers
We will protect 1 million miles of rivers that are vital to people and wildlife through state and federal
policies. We support local partners in Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington to protect their
rivers as Wild and Scenic. And we support cities that want to protect their rivers in ways that address
social inequities and improve resilience to floods and water scarcity.

Remove 30,000 dams
Taking down a dam is the fastest, most efficient way to bring a river back to life. For decades, American
Rivers has led a national movement to remove dams that are doing more harm than good. We will
remove the worst 400 dams by 2027 and galvanize partners to remove 30,000 dams by 2050. In addition
to managing our own dam removals, we are dramatically increasing the numbers of dams removed every
year by advocating for a strong framework of federal and regional policies and funding, and training
hundreds of professionals to manage their own projects.

Repair wetlands and floodplains
Healthy wetlands and floodplains ensure that drought and floods cause less destruction to lives, property,
and habitats. Our work to restore these areas addresses multiple issues, including public safety, equity,
and wildlife habitat.

Restore life to urban rivers
Most people in the United States live in cities. All cities sit on top of a network of rivers, creeks, and
streams. When thriving, these waterways provide access to nature, wildlife habitat, clean water that is
essential for our health, and a buffer against droughts and floods. We drive high-impact river restoration
projects in cities, such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, Tucson, and Sacramento, to improve environmental and
community health.

Shape river-friendly policy
We defend federal legislation that safeguards rivers and waters. We also shape national and state policy
by harnessing the advocacy power of river groups, frontline communities, businesses, bipartisan leaders,
and climate and justice advocates. Regardless of which party is in power, American Rivers works to
ensure the administration sees the health of rivers and waters as a priority.

Galvanize individuals to take action
Almost every person in our country relies on a river for their health. Yet many don't realize that rivers
provide our water and essential habitat for wildlife. American Rivers is building a movement of people
who understand rivers' importance and who will use their voices, voting power, and enthusiasm to protect
and restore rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. We use our annual Americas
Most Endangered Rivers campaign and National River Cleanup to connect people to their rivers and
drive a national conversation.

Protect 1 million miles of river.
We’re committed to restoring and protecting 1 million rivers in the United States, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. To do this, we are advocating for federal and state protections for some of our healthiest, most scenic rivers across the country. We are also working with communities experiencing more frequent and damaging flooding to reconnect their rivers to floodplains. These rivers, and the watersheds that feed them, provide recreation, clean water, and natural habitat for the benefit of all of us.
Remove 30,000 harmful dams.
Free-flowing rivers promote healthy habitats for wildlife, reduce flood risk to communities, and support cultural traditions. Up to 85 percent of all dams in our country are unnecessary, harmful, and even dangerous. We must remove thousands of them quickly. Our work to remove dams has been central to American Rivers over the past decades and will be even more important as we work to restore rivers in the decade ahead. Because removing a dam is the single most impactful way to secure a rivers’ future health.
Ensure clean water for every community.
Over the past 50 years, American Rivers and partners have protected drinking water sources for tens of millions of people. Millions more are vulnerable to the health impacts of water pollution. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and Tribal Nations are more likely to be impacted by environmental hazards and are more likely to live near contaminated lands and be affected by unhealthy water. Everyone deserves clean water. At American Rivers, we’re increasing our community engagement so that no communities are left behind.
Champion a powerful river movement.
American Rivers has always been known for our willingness and ability to work with local advocates and partners from both private and public sectors to do what’s best for rivers and the people and wildlife that depend on them. We know that the challenges to rivers are increasing dramatically. We need an even stronger river movement to face those challenges. We will double our efforts to bring more local support to the cause of rivers and to work with others to lead a movement that restores and protects the rivers we treasure.

American Rivers is the only national organization dedicated entirely to protecting and restoring the rivers all life
depends on. With a half-century of experience addressing river threats from coast-to-coast, weve protected more
rivers and removed more dams than any other organization. As a trusted leader and coalition-builder, we are
championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. For 50 years, American Rivers staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on
Rivers.
About American Rivers
- American Rivers direct influence has catalyzed the removal of 2,025 dams nationwide.
- We have removed more dams than any other organization.
- We have played a role in nearly every river mile protected as Wild and Scenic.
- Our model:
National expertise with local presence: American Rivers is one of the premier national organizations focused on clean water and river health, and we are known for our strong policy expertise and advocacy. We also work across the country via regional teams to protect and restore rivers and waterways through partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders. This regional work leverages national strengths and ensures maximum, lasting impact.
Innovation: Our national network of teams continually tests and collaborates on new approaches
across regions. Staff experts from multiple disciplines share best practices and creative thinking.
This innovation is essential as we see more flooding, droughts, and other extreme weather.
A comprehensive approach: No river has just one challenge. Aging infrastructure, pollution,
climate change, environmental injustice, and the destruction of wildlife are all wreaking havoc on
our waterways. American Rivers, with our multi-disciplinary experts, works with partners to find
solutions to the many needs of any river. This comprehensive approach to river protection and
restoration means we have a bigger, more lasting impact that is helping address the real-time
needs, which is only being exacerbated as we see more extreme weather events as a result of
climate change.
Collaboration and trust: American Rivers prioritizes developing deep relationships with those
most impacted by environmental injustice through listening and humility. We build trusting and
productive relationships with partners and look for opportunities to create multiple wins for
communities

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

American Rivers, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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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 02/26/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Pallavi Phartiyal

Mark Busto

Jo-Ellen Darcy

Abigail Rome

David Solomon

Susan Wallace

Beth Burrough

Tom Barney

Kristin Hull

Pallavi Phartiyal

Angela Wiggins

Aja DeCoteau

Queta Gonzalez

Na'Taki Osborne Jelks

PhD

Alyssa Macy

Mary Pavel

Andrew Sheehan

Shannon F Wheeler

Mark Barnes

PhD

Jordana Barrack

Mark Greatrex

Trevor Price

Dan Reicher

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 2/20/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/26/2024

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.