Urban Waters

Urban Waters Voices

Urban Waters Voices is a series of video interviews featuring locally led efforts to restore urban waters in communities across the United States. These videos feature local efforts and strategies to improve urban water quality while advancing local community priorities.

Watch videos below. Exit

Beth Stewart, Executive Director for the Cahaba River Society

This video features Beth Stewart, Executive Director for the Cahaba River Society, describing some of the challenges faced by communities in the Cahaba River Watershed and the residents of Birmingham, Alabama (e.g. pollution that increases drinking water costs) and how the organization is using positive recognition and educating residents in order to improve the environmental decision making in the watershed. As Alabama's longest remaining stretch of free-flowing river and the primary drinking water source for one-fifth of the state's people the Cahaba River is also a treasure of biological diversity of national and global importance.

The Cahaba River Society (www.cahabariversociety.org) sees its goal as working to protect this natural resource for the communities that rely on it and to serve the diverse freshwater creatures who depend on it.


Bob Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association

This video features Bob Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association, describing some of the improvements seen in recent years along the Charles River and some of the challenges still faced by Charles River communities (e.g. legacy contamination).

This nonprofit organization (www.crwa.org) in Massachusetts uses science, advocacy, and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. This organization sees its focus as: developing a sound, science-based understanding of interactions in the watershed; promoting sustainable watershed management practices with government agencies and private entities; and advocating for protection, revitalization, and expansion of public parklands along the Charles River.


Darryl Haddock, Environmental Education Director for the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance

This video features Darryl Haddock, Environmental Education Director for the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, describing some of the challenges faced by communities in the watersheds of Proctor, Sandy, and Utoy Creek (e.g. combined sewer overflows, water quality issues, and access to recreational opportunities) and how the organization is using their Outdoor Activity Center to educate and engage residents about these challenges.

The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (www.wawaonline.org), a community based non-profit organization in Georgia, began as a community struggle for environmental justice and has evolved into an organization that also fosters environmental stewardship. The organization sees its goal as working to improve the quality of life for residents in West Atlanta by protecting, preserving, and restoring the community's natural resources.


Edwin Revell, Volunteer with the Village Creek Society

This video features Edwin Revell, a volunteer with the Village Creek Society, describing some of the challenges faced by the communities in the Village Creek Watershed of Birmingham, Alabama (e.g. flooding and water quality issues) and how this nonprofit organization is working to educate residents in order to strengthen efforts to address these challenges. Village Creek was once the drinking water source for the City of Birmingham but degradation from flooding and industrial contamination has severely altered this once pristine place.

The Village Creek Society (www.villagecreeksociety.org) hopes to improve these waters so that they can once again benefit residences, businesses, schools, and churches in its watershed.


EkOngKar "EK" Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association

This video features EkOngKar "EK" Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, describing some of the challenges faced by Mystic River communities (e.g. access to the river and water quality issues) and how this organization's outreach and educational efforts are being used to address these challenges.

The Mystic River Watershed Association (http://www.mysticriver.org) a nonprofit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, largely functions as a volunteer-run organization. The organization sees its goal as working to protect and improve environmental conditions for the more than one half million residents within the 22 communities of the Mystic River Watershed. The Mystic River Watershed is one of the most urban and densely populated watersheds in the Commonwealth. It has three Superfund sites within its borders, and is home to various communities with Environmental Justice concerns.


James Rasmussen, Coordinator for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group

This video features James Rasmussen, Coordinator for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, describing some of the challenges faced by communities along the Duwamish River (e.g. Superfund site cleanup, industrial contamination, and storm water issues) and how the organization is using community involvement and education to inform and influence the work that is being done.

The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (www.duwamishcleanup.org) has been working since 2001 on the cleanup of south Seattle, Washington's Lower Duwamish River. Founded by local environmental, tribal, and community organizations, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition sees its goal as working to ensure that the Duwamish River Superfund cleanup not only restores environmental health and protects fishers and families who use the river, but also reflects the priorities, values and will of the people who live and work in the region.


Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Project

This video features Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Project, describing some of the challenges faced by communities along the Elizabeth River in Virginia (e.g. legacy contamination from maritime activity and flooding) and how the organization uses voluntary action and cooperation to promote cleanup efforts.

This nonprofit organization (www.elizabethriver.org) sees its goal as working to restore the Elizabeth River, a superfund site, to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business, and community partnerships.


Mary Rickel Pelletier, Director of Park Watershed, Inc.

This video features Mary Rickel Pelletier, Director of Park Watershed, Inc., describing some of the challenges faced by watershed communities in Hartford, CT (e.g. lack of access and lack of awareness of the "buried" river) and how the organization is using art and science to address these challenges.

Park Watershed, Inc. (www.parkwatershed.org), a nonprofit organization (formerly Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative), sees its goal as working through community engagement, scientific research, and ecological revitalization to cultivate clean water and healthy urban environments within the municipalities of the Park River regional watershed.


Michael Byrd, Executive Director of the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association

This video features Michael Byrd, Executive Director of the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association, describing some of the challenges faced by Granite Creek Watershed communities (e.g. perennial water flow, drinking water source, and water quality issues) and how the organization uses conservation, restoration, and education to address these challenges.

Prescott Creeks Preservation Association (www.prescottcreeks.org), a nonprofit organization, sees its goal as promoting watershed stewardship by coordinating programs that protect and celebrate the ecological integrity of riparian systems and associated wetlands in the central Arizona watersheds.


Nate Haan, Project Manager for Plaster Creek Stewards

This video features Nate Haan, Project Manager for Plaster Creek Stewards, describing some of the challenges faced by communities in the Plaster Creek Watershed of Grand Rapids, Michigan (e.g. excess sediment build and E. coli contamination) and how the organization is creating partnerships between the upper and lower watershed communities, both rural and urban, to address these challenges.

Plaster Creek Stewards (www.calvin.edu/admin/provost/pcw) is a collaboration of
Calvin College faculty and staff. The organization sees its goal as working with local churches and community partners to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed.


Sara Peel, Director of Watershed Projects for the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation

This video features Sara Peel, Director of Watershed Projects for the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation, describing some of the challenges faced by communities in the Greater Lafayette Region of Indiana (e.g. sewer overflows, water quality issues, and access to the river) and how the organization is using engaging government and community partners to address these challenges.

This nonprofit agency (www.wabashriver.net), formed by 3 local governments (Lafayette, W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co.) along with Purdue University, sees its goal as working to enhance the quality of life in the Wabash River Corridor by providing sustainable opportunities to improve health, recreation, education, economic development, and environmental management.


Shane Wright, Youth and Water Program Director for Groundwork Denver

This video features Shane Wright, Youth and Water Program Director for Groundwork Denver describing some of the challenges faced by South Platte River Watershed communities in Colorado (e.g. water shortages and water quality issues) and how the organization's outreach and educational efforts are being used to address these challenges.

Groundwork Denver (www.groundworkdenver.org), a nonprofit local affiliate of the Groundwork USA network, sees its goal as working to bring about the sustained improvement of the physical environment and promote health and well-being through community-based partnerships and action. Groundwork Denver builds partnerships to deliver programs and resources to help lower-income communities make a wide range of environmental improvements, to build broad community involvement, and develop leadership and job skills in the local communities.


Stephen Paul DeVillo, Volunteer with the Bronx River Alliance

p>This video features Stephen Paul DeVillo, a volunteer with the Bronx River Alliance, describing some of the challenges faced by Bronx River communities (e.g. access to the river and water quality issues) and how the organization's outreach and educational efforts are being used to address these challenges.

The Bronx River Alliance (www.bronxriver.org), a nonprofit organization in New York City, sees its goal as working to protect, improve, and restore the Bronx River corridor and greenway for the ecological, recreational, educational, and economic benefit of the Bronx communities.


Tim Fulton, Executive Director of Groundwork Buffalo

This video features Tim Fulton, Executive Director of Groundwork Buffalo, describing some of the challenges faced by communities along the Niagara River in Buffalo, NY (e.g. decline in population, habitat loss, and access to the river) and how the organization is working to develop community-based partnerships that empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being.

Groundwork Buffalo (www.groundworkbuffalo.org), a local affiliate of the Groundwork USA Network (a group of independent, not-for-profit, environmental organizations), sees its goal as working with neighborhoods, schools, the City of Buffalo, other nonprofit organizations and businesses to make positive, meaningful changes to both the physical environment and the individuals living in those communities.

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