Mission & History


Our mission is to protect all the waters of Connecticut: surface waters, aquifers, and wetlands. We promote and support good water policies statewide; we assist environmental groups, businesses, and individuals who seek to improve the quality of local waters. We offer educational services for experts and beginners alike.

This statement serves as the underpinning for the organization and all of our work.

Prefer to learn about us in a video? Watch this video about our history and our work.


  • Policy Action Goals
    Rivers Alliance has always vigorously promoted public policies for protection and restoration of healthy flows in all the state’s waterways. As a result, in 2005 Connecticut passed vanguard legislation requiring the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to adopt flow standards for all rivers and streams. Recently we have extended our action goals to protection of both the quantity and quality of headwaters and groundwater. These undervalued and often neglected resources are essential to the water future of this state.
  • Policy Leadership
    As policy leaders, we serve as co-chair of the state Water Planning Council Advisory Group; a member of the state Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Board, a member of the Clean Water Coalition (funding for sewage treatment); a member of the CT DEEP Commissioner’s Policy Work Group for stream-flow regulation; a member of the Pesticides Coalition; a member of the Greater New Haven Community Foundation’s Advisory Board for the Quinnipiac River Fund; and a director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.
  • Small Grants Program
    This is a re-granting program funded through the Environmental Protection Agency and the CT DEEP. In the first five rounds we supported projects from more than 40 environmental groups, many of them new. In 2011 we disbursed over $50,000 to 11 groups across the state. We will release a new request for proposals later this year.
  • Connecticut Watershed Conservation Network
    This Rivers Alliance program runs conferences twice annually, communicates throughout the network by email year-round, and maintains a website of conservation news. Our 120-plus members include people from state agencies, environmental groups, recreational groups, and just plain folks.
  • Fighting City Hall
    Rivers Alliance believes you can fight City Hall and win, or at least minimize losses. We assist individuals and organizations that, in the face of daunting opposition, are trying to protect the state’s waters. We manage a Help Line (860-361-9349) to assist individuals and groups who are in a fight to protect water resources. If the cause is good, it becomes our cause.
  • Education
    We publish educational materials, including our popular buffers brochure; speak to small and large groups across the state; and stage major conferences on subjects of wide interest, for example, Electric Industry Deregulation: Implications for Water; Streamflow: Science and Policy; Connecticut Water Law; Hydropower in New England; and Risks, Rewards, and and Recreational Liability. We have researched and published learning materials on science topics that did not have information readily available to the general public. These materials include Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Friends AND Foes! and ON-SITE WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT IN CONNECTICUT: THE ROLE OF ADVANCED TREATMENT SYSTEMS (ATS)


Rivers Alliance was founded in 1992 by the state’s leading river and watershed groups in recognition of their need for consistent, reliable collaboration, networking, and unity in public policy development and public education.

We are led by a small, dedicated staff and a thirteen-member Board of Directors with representatives from environmental organizations, business, and the law. Our members are individuals, organizations, and businesses concerned with the health and protection of Connecticut’s rivers and watersheds.

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is a membership-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing Connecticut’s rivers, streams, and watersheds.