23 Oct 2019 International Riverprize Winner – James River, USA!
The James River in the USA is the winner of the 2019 Thiess International Riverprize. The James River Association accepted the award on behalf of the James River at the 20th Anniversary Riverprize Gala Dinner.
When James River Association was founded in 1976, the James River was considered one of the most polluted rivers in the country with large sections declared dead or unfit for human use. Through four decades of consistent and continued effort, the James River has transformed from one of the most polluted in the country to one of the most improved.
This remarkable improvement in river health is the result of an inclusive, comprehensive approach to strengthen public awareness and appreciation, as well as many years of public and private investments in conservation projects. Moreover, access to the James River has expanded to over 200 public access points. The state of Virginia has established comprehensive plans to increase resiliency along the James River, addressing climate change and other future threats.
“Receiving this award strengthens our resolve to continue this comeback story, and we hope it will inspire everyone who lives, works and plays around the James River to jump in and help out so the James remains a vital asset for our communities and for future generations.”
– Bill Street, CEO of the James River Association
Congratulations to our co-finalists Friends of the Chicago River (USA) and the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group (New Zealand). All three finalists have done amazing restoration work for their rivers which should be celebrated and commended. During the dinner we also awarded our 2019 Ken Thiess Scholars José Fernández and Rosie Sanderson (represented by Andrea Salus) and our 2019 Vera Thiess Fellow, Qing Ye, with their certificates.
We had over 600 people attend the 20th Anniversary Riverprize Gala Dinner so thank you to everyone who attended this celebration of our rivers!