River Celebration Awards

James Holland, Altamaha Riverkeeper (retired)

Do you know a River Hero? Someone in your community who speaks on behalf of your local waterways, who works to keep them healthy and clean, and who helps the rest of us appreciate their beauty, utility and uniqueness? Every river needs a hero, and we at GRN appreciate these people so much, we honor them each year in our River Celebration Awards ceremony.

During our Weekend for Rivers each year, we give three different awards to our rivers' unsung heroes:

Volunteer of the Year

This award is given for purely freelance heroics in the field of river conservation. The winner of this award generally doesn't get paid for looking after their river, but does it because it's just important to them. This dedicated person has not only demonstrated that they care about their local streams and rivers, but has also inspired river love in others.

Conservationist of the Year

Conservationist of the Year goes to someone whose work has had a direct impact on the health of their river. This may be through education, science, outreach or policy, and will be given to someone who has demonstrated heroic leadership, inspiration, creativity and dedication to a vision of clean, healthy, plentiful water for our communities, our families and wildlife.

River Group of the Year

This award is given to a group of river heroes that is out there on the front lines every day, working on behalf of all of us to keep our rivers flowing clean. The River Group of the Year generally has done something spectacular during the year, and achieved significant results through their leadership, dedication and abilities.

River heroes often don't know that they are heroic, and sometimes we at GRN don't even know about them. So please -- if you know a river hero, pass his or her name on to us. Email Dana Skelton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Don't let that hero go unnoticed!

Click here to view current and past winners of the awards.