Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is a national non-profit organization with a mission “to conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.”
American Whitewater is a membership organization representing a broad diversity of individual whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America. The organization is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States, and connects the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to achieve the goals within its mission.
American Whitewater works to protect and restore rivers, maintains a national inventory of whitewater rivers, monitors potential threats to whitewater river resources, publishes information on river conservation, works with government agencies to protect the ability of the public to have a voice in the management of rivers, advocates for legislation protecting our rivers and their aquatic resources, and provides technical advice to local groups regarding river conservation and management.
American Whitewater is working full-time to assure protection of whitewater rivers and the ability of the public to enjoy clean, free-flowing rivers. This includes our access program that focuses on protecting navigability on our nation's waterways and acquisition of lands that provide public access to rivers.
American Whitewater has worked on whitewater rivers throughout the country of all sizes and challenges. Here are just a few things that we don't mind braggin' about:
- AW members proposed some of the initial concepts for protection of Wisconsin's waterways that Senator Gaylord Nelson incorporated into the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This legislation was passed in 1968 and we continue to use this important tool for protecting some of our nation's most spectacular rivers.
- AW has represented the public interest at over 100 federally-licensed hydropower projects restoring flows on rivers that have been dewatered for decades
- AW has worked with a variety of agencies to remove over a dozen dams on rivers and we have several more scheduled for removal including some major projects in the West
- AW was a founding member of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, now comprised of well over 100 organizations that represent the public interest in hydropower relicensing. Our coalition has significantly enhanced the ability of the public to have a voice in management of rivers impacted by hydropower development for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and people.
- AW was a founding member of the Outdoor Alliance. The six membership groups of Outdoor Alliance have a long tradition of preserving public access to America’s Outdoors - making sure people have trails to hike, waters to paddle, mountains to ski and crags to climb.
Our network of volunteers under the direction of our small river stewardship staff is working on well over 100 rivers across the nation. In addition we are working at the state and federal level to protect our bedrock environmental laws and preserve the ability of the public to safely enjoy clean, free-flowing rivers.