Based in Washington, D.C. & founded in 1973, they have been a big part of helping our waterways. In those 40 years they have removed more than 200 dams; gotten over 12,000 miles of rivers designated "wild & scenic"; & cleaned up about 16.5 million pounds of trash from our rivers. For us anglers, think of them sort as a Trout Unlimited for all American rivers.
Evidently something like 65% of our drinking water in America comes from rivers. But these folks aren't just concerned about that. They also do this work so we all can enjoy the rivers for fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, & other activities.
What I really like about what they do is that they remove old dams. Folks, there are a lot more dams than you probably realize. I'm not talking just about the big concrete monsters. There are many small dams constructed of wood, concrete, stone, & other materials on a lot of small streams & rivers. Many of these are very old & have outlived their usefulness today. In many cases removing these old dams greatly improves the stream, the fishing, canoeing, & other opportunities to enjoy the stream. If you go onto their website (http://www.americanrivers.org) you can see a map of the country showing the dams that have been removed.
Another reason I like the work this group is doing is because they understand that a river is more than just the main channel. They understand that a healthy river needs clean tributaries & wetland, too. So they do the work necessary to improve & preserve the entire river system - not just the popular places of a river.
As far as I can tell the folks at American Rivers are doing the work all of us anglers wish could be done when we see a river in need of help. There are 3.5 million miles of river in the USA & most of them need some kind of help big or small. Needless to say, they could use all the help they can get. To find out more information about them & how you can help, please visit www.americanrivers.org & give them a hand if you can.