The Urban Waters Learning Network is a peer-to-peer network of people and organizations that share practical on-the-ground experiences in order to improve urban waterways and revitalize the neighborhoods around them.
Groundwork USA and River Network are partners in coordinating the Learning Network, providing support and opportunities for members to share successes, challenges, and technical resources.
Dedicated to changing places and changing lives, Groundwork USA is a national organization with local roots, engaging local businesses, residents and government officials to revitalize neighborhoods and transform community liabilities into community assets.
River Network empowers and unites people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. We envision a future with clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers.
Since 1988, River Network has been at the forefront of expanding national interest in protecting the waters of our country, encouraging diversity in the environmental movement, and helping engaged citizens take a stand for their waters. We accomplish our mission by investing in local protection and restoration efforts and helping advance these efforts at different levels (system, state, regional, national).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water (OW) ensures drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants and wildlife.
OW is responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, and portions of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Ocean Dumping Ban Act, Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, Shore Protection Act, Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act, London Dumping Convention, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and several other statutes.
U.S. EPA launched the Urban Waters initiative in 2010 recognizing that local waterways and community renewal and health are intrinsically related and that investments in both yield many more outcomes than focusing on one or the other. U.S. EPA has supported the Learning Network from its inception as a key to sharing successful strategies across the country.
The Urban Waters Federal Partnership was an initiative launched in 2011. Its purpose is to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our Nation’s water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits. There are 19 locations around the country with Federal Partnerships.