One way Rivers For Change supports Source To Sea principles is through our Source To Sea Grants program, distributing $1,000+ annually to projects and programs that integrate Source To Sea education and connect people to rivers. View some of the projects that have been a part of the Source to Sea Grant Program. To learn more about our grant program and to apply click here.
2023 Grant Recipient
Home2Headwaters: Where Does Your Water Come From?
In July 2022, Nina Gordon-Kirsch walked more than 240 miles, tracing the Mokelumne River – the river that provides tap water to the East Bay.
She left her home on Chochenyo Ohlone land (Oakland) and 33 days later she arrived on Washoe land, at the headwaters of the Mokelumne River in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
On her journey, Nina interviewed farmers, river conservationists, hydropower employees, and regular citizens, collecting stories about how we all relate to water. She walked on the Bay Trail, through the Delta Islands (swam a few river crossings), kayaked upstream for 2 days, and backpacked off-trail in a remote river canyon. After one month of walking, Nina made it to her destination and has come home with an important story to tell.
Both Nina and a film crew documented her journey and they are now working to make an educational film to bring into East Bay schools about where our drinking water comes from.
Nina is grateful to the Sogorea Te Land Trust for granting her permission to walk on Chochenyo-Ohlone land.
2023 Grant Recipient
“A River Called Home” is a short documentary following the journey of four women who paddle the James River in Virginia from its headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay. Known as America’s Founding River, the James River holds a lot of our nation’s history along its riverbanks, including being home to Jamestown and Richmond. It is also the largest watershed in Virginia, with 3 million people relying on it for drinking water, commerce, and recreation. However, it is a river that faces challenges, with elevated levels of PCBs in the upper watershed, the threat of a gold mine in the middle James, and a sewage system in the lower region that results in raw overflow when rain overwhelms treatment plants. In a 21-day expedition, these women study water quality, working with local students, to better connect with their watershed and learn how every person can become an advocate for their local rivers. Learn more about the journey, how to support the film, and expected distribution at jesswiegandt.com/arch.
2022 Grant Recipient
Khandepar river located in the Western Ghats (Biodiversity Hotspot) State of Goa, is a west flowing river and a tributary of the Mhadei, also commonly known as the Mandovi river. It receives relatively less attention and not much is known of its riverine biodiversity or the communities and livelihoods that are intertwined with the river. We at BookWorm Trust and Foundation for Rivers and Ecosystems, would like to carry out community based mapping activities to highlight resource use, biodiversity and arrive upon solutions to tackle climate change related grievances, using a democratic approach coupled with science and traditional knowledge.
2021 Grant Recipient
“SOURCED” A Watershed Journey-POSTPONED DUE TO POLITICAL UNREST
TRACKING PLASTIC POLLUTION
A clean river begins at the top of the watershed. In Oct of 2021 team Sourced will document the journey of a single piece of trash from the summit of Koser Gunge peak on the banks of the Braldu River (6401 m), down through the infamous Rondu Gorges of the Indus River, and into the Arabian Sea as it is joined by other plastic pollution. Skardu is the launch-ing point for expeditions to the Karakoram, visited by thousands of tourists and adventurers each year, yet the town lacks infrastructure for proper waste disposal and dumps 15 tons of waste into the Indus River basin each day. Team Sourced has partnered with local collaborators including Industry-leaders WasteBusters, Responsible Baltistan and the Skardu Waste Management Corporation to support the construction of a Transfer Station that will allow Skardu municipal waste to be transported to appro-priate recycling and gasification facilities. The Sourced project team consists of expert mountaineers, skiers, kayakers and filmmakers. Along the journey, the Sourced team will survey fluvial waste to iden-tify point-sources of plastic pollution, engage local communities along the river drainage to promote waste management best practices, and produce a narrative film that will be usedas a fundraising tool to support further infrastructure development by the Local Collaborator Coalition.
2021 Grant Recipient
Saco [sakohki] River Source to Sea
By 1800 17 sawmills stood at Saco Falls. In 1820 a canal was completed cutting off 16 miles of river. In 1825 the country’s largest cotton mill was operating at Saco Falls. Since colonial times the Saco River has been seen only for its industrial value. Cities were built with their backs to the river, using it only for a power source and a dump.
The Saco river is much more than that, it is home to 4 exemplary natural communities, 22 rare species, and supplies water to ¼ million people from 35 towns.
Photojournalist Joe Klementovich will tell the story of the Saco River by tracing it from source to sea, the slopes of the northeast’s highest peak 136 miles downriver to the Gulf of Maine. Along the way, he will be filming, photographing, and gathering thoughts and perspectives from people connected to this vast and important waterway.
Traveling on paddleboards, Joe will pass through mountains, floodplains, farmlands, and estuaries focusing on the natural beauty and the people that are so dependent on the water that connects and flows through the Saco River.
2021 Grant Recipient
ON A MISSION TO LEARN & INSPIRE
In the spring of 2021, Alyssa Winkelman, Ari Kosel and Jamie Trapp will packraft from the headwaters of the Sacramento River to trace its journey to the Pacific Ocean. On an open-minded, fun, and educational journey, they aim to deepen their personal connections to the river and learn more about the diverse stakeholders who share an interest in California’s longest river. Their mission is to develop an inspirational and relatable story that raises awareness and empowers the public to take action on key environmental and social issues surrounding the Sacramento River and other hard-working rivers worldwide.
Learn more about their project and follow along their journey on Instagram. Read more about their trip on our blog.
2020 Grant Recipient
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Developing an Affinity Clinic with Team River Runner
Chris Farris joined the US Marines in 1978. After sustaining an injury in active duty he was introduced to kayaking at a VA hospital through Team River Runner. Today, Chris is the co-chair and Facilitator for Team River Runner’s Diversity Committee and is committed to introducing more veterans of color to paddle sports. This grant will support Chris and his efforts with Team River Runner on a multi-day paddle promoting inclusion, access and river education.
2019 Grant Recipient
BUILDING CONNECTIONS FROM SOURCE TO SEA
Watershed Moments was a solo paddling expedition and social-engagement art project by Claire Dibble. Her trip covered all 2000 kilometers (1243 miles) of the Columbia River between the source near her home in Golden, British Columbia to the sea beyond Astoria, Oregon.
Her intention was to build a portrait of the river and the people who live along it, creating a sense of connection upstream and downstream in the process.
2019 Grant Recipient
2018 Grant Recipient
“Still River, Silent Jungle” Is a documentary project that showcases the local passion to protect the most bio-diverse national park in the world, Madidi National Park, located in the Bolivian Amazon. In June 2018, a team of international whitewater kayakers, National Park guards, indigenous leaders and environmental activists descended the remote Tuichi River together, sharing their stories and reasons for protecting the river. The result of “Still River, Silent Jungle” (coming to festivals in 2019), will mark just the beginning of a movement to protect this region and the headwaters of the Amazon River from the Chepete-Bala mega dam proposals that threaten to flood almost 1000 square kilometers of Amazon Rainforest.
Interested in Our Grant Program?
Find out about eligibility and what it takes to be considered for a project.
Applications are open on a rolling basis depending on funding availability. Most grantees will be informed by Nov 15th for a project in the following calendar year. If you’d like to be considered for your project you may submit a grant application.
Current Grantee Bios
Find out more about the people behind our current grant projects!