June3The entire Partners for Clean Streams staff set out on an adventure late in May to attend this year’s River Rally conference in Mobile, Alabama.  Kris, Executive Director and a seasoned River Rally attendee, knew what to expect but Mike and Jessica, still relatively new staff, were in for a real treat. Over the course of the 4-day conference, Kris, Mike, and Jessica sat in on interesting workshops about water topics, listened to stories of other water activists, met new people, experienced downtown Mobile, paddled along a winding river basin, and celebrated the good work of everyone in attendance. Read on to see what they had to say when asked the question, what was the most valuable part of your River Rally experience this year? Check out our online photo album as well! 

Kris, “What struck me this year about River Rally was how many new, young adults were there, including two of our own staff. River Rally is always an excellent conference and gets many returning Rally attendees, but this Rally I was so encouraged to see many new young adults soaking up the wisdom so they can carry on the mission when those of us more seasoned veterans are ready to pass the torch! Just as the name says, it’s also a Rally to bring people who are passionate about protecting water quality together and to re-energize all of us, which it certainly did.”

Mike, “River Rally was an excellent opportunity to learn from the experiences of other conservation organizations. I learned methods for engaging volunteers, better utilizing social media, and strategies for implementing new programs. In particular I was inspired by the innovative monitoring programs that provide excellent data reporting for endangered watersheds. The passion of people to preserve rivers across the country was inspiring. The conference allowed me to see that Partners for Clean Streams is a part of a larger community of water advocates.“

Jessica, “River Rally was an amazing experience. The most valuable part of my time at Rally was the conversations I had with other attendees. I met people from all over the country, who are all passionate about water conservation, protection, and our planet’s future. I also valued the paddling field trip because we were able to witness the diverse ecosystem that is Mobile, including alligators, bald eagles, snakes, osprey, beautiful aquatic plants, and much more. The experience reenergized me and reaffirmed my passion for what I do.”