Five Nominees Win 2013 River Heroes Awards

During the 2013 River Heroes Awards hosted by River Network in St. Louis, 5 individuals were announced as winners for their dedication to improving water quality, environmental justice, education, and volunteering to protect the most important natural resource of all.

River Network hosted the 2013 River Heroes Award winners at a banquet during this year’s River Rally conference in St. Louis, MO.

The five 2013 River Heroes honorees are:

Kris Sigford, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MN) Kris has worked to clean up Minnesota’s waters for more than 30 years, working on watersheds that reach all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, Hudson Bay, and the Great Lakes.

Earl Hatley, Grand Riverkeeper, LEAD Agency (OK) Earl is a life-long environmental activist. He is a co-founder of the LEAD agency,an environmental justice organization, working on a total of 18 Superfund sites so far. He also serves as the Grand Riverkeeper, protecting Grand Lake and the upper Grand River watershed.

Brian Williams, Dan River Basin Association (NC) Brian has volunteered with groups working to protect the Everglades, to mapping underwater springs, and expanding the renowned “Trout in the Classroom” program, his leadership has inspired thousands of people to get involved in protecting water resources.

Paul Klonowski, Des Plaines River Stewards (IL) Paul works as a volunteer on a number of on-going river programs while also working full time at Abbott Laboratories. In 2001, as a board member of the Illinois Paddling Council, he designed a new program for Lake County Forest Preserve District, becoming the lead River Steward for Section IV of the Des Plaines River.

Laura Rubin, Huron River Watershed Council (MI) Laura’s passion for protecting the Huron River has resulted in measurable results in water quality improvements; new habitat, recreation and economic projects; increased volunteers; and increased community support. She also helped grow the organization’s Adopt-A-Stream program into the premier volunteer monitoring program in Michigan, and a national model.

“We couldn't be more impressed then we are by the important work these individuals and their organizations are doing to make a meaningful impact on water resources around the nation,” said Todd Ambs, River Network president. “Their dedication to–and love of rivers and water–is what inspires us all.”