Urban Waters Learning Network

The UWLN is a nationwide peer-to-peer network of people and organizations working to conserve, restore, and revitalize America’s urban waterways. We deliver tools, training, mentoring, and financial assistance to support the work of UWLN members as they collaborate, develop solutions, and elevate community priorities. Together, we foster solutions that advance water equity and environmental justice, build healthy ecosystems and resilient communities, and address the disparate impacts of environmental degradation and climate change.

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  • Why Join the UWLN?
Get Connected!

Get Connected!

Join collaboratives, conferences, and calls to network with peers to share and learn lessons, successes, and insights from urban waters efforts across the country.

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Find Support!

Find Support!

Be Inspired!

Be Inspired!

Check out our collection of Impact Stories to see how water practitioners are building community and driving change across the network and discover new strategies to advance your own work.

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Build Community!

Build Community!

Our Partners


Urban Waters Learning Network Impact Stories

Bringing Oysters back to the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River,  Southeast Virginia

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Through large-scale restoration projects, the Elizabeth River Project and partners are repopulating the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River with native oysters to prove that oysters can tackle any job – even one of the most polluted tributaries in the watershed. ⁠

With funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Five Star and Urban Waters grant, The Elizabeth River Project and communities are working together to restore five acres of oyster reefs to the river shoreline! ⁠

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

 

Citizen-led Monitoring of Urban Wetland Restoration
Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, New Orleans, LA

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The Citizen-led Monitoring of Urban Wetland Restoration in New Orleans creates active wetland advocates by placing technology into community members’ hands, especially in those of low-income Lake Pontchartrain residents.

Public Lab provides training, education and support, focusing on locally-relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website
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A River for All—Fighting for Environmental Justice & Health Equity
Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, Seattle, WA

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The Duwamish River is a 5.5 mile long Superfund site that flows through Seattle’s Duwamish Valley—a highly developed urban and industrial center south of downtown.

Most affected by the contamination are Seattle’s most marginalized and impoverished communities – low-income, homeless residents, immigrants and tribal fishing families.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

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Restoring Balance in an Urban Creek through Green Infrastructure
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Durham, NC

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In 2012, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association received a $60,000 EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to demonstrate that integrating green infrastructure into the urban landscape can begin to restore a hydrologic balance within Durham’s Ellerbe Creek. The project has helped quantify the extent to which green infrastructure can reduce excessive amounts of water and remove pollutants, while helping the City of Durham comply with regulations to clean up Falls Lake Reservoir.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

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Addressing Baltimore’s Vacant Land Problem
Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership

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Baltimore, Maryland, home to over 30,000 vacant and abandoned lots and numerous economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, is also home to some of the most innovative job creation strategies and vacant lot reclamation projects in the nation.

Through the Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership, waterways are being cleaned up, communities are reconnecting with their urban waters, and abandoned lots are being transformed for community benefit.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

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River Ambassadors—Future of the L.A. River
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

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Youth from different areas in Los Angeles are creating positive change along the LA River through the River Ambassador program, a youth leadership and education program of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

The program is designed to connect underserved youth with their river and to involve the teachers at each of the high schools participating in the program.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

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Featured Resources
Downloadable report

Success Stories: 25 Lessons from 25 Years, River Network
Celebrating River Network’s 25th Anniversary with a compilation of 25 stories from River Network partners detailing successes and lessons learned.


Webinar recording

Creative Partnerships in Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
Explores partnering strategies in volunteer water quality and habitat monitoring efforts and presents national survey results and case studies of different types of volunteer monitoring partnerships


Downloadable report

Urban River Parkways–An Essential Tool for Public Health
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health reviews the health benefits of restoring urban rivers

View all resources on the Urban Waters Learning Network website