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Welcome to Save The World’s Rivers!

Save The World’s Rivers is a 501c3 organization founded in 2021. Save The World’s Rivers  fills a niche in the global river-protection movement by tightly focusing on an eco-centric approach that:

  • Fights proposed and existing dams and diversions on rivers anywhere on the planet, as well as support dam removal.
  • Supports “Rights of Nature” for rivers across the planet.
  • Educates the public and decision-makers about climate emissions caused by dams, and about massive threat of dams across the planet.

An “eco-centric” approach uses a nature-centered, as opposed to human-centered, system of values. We believe that nature, and rivers specifically, have intrinsic value and thus have a right to exist, a right to flow, a right to be free of pollution, and a right to restoration.

Nature is a single, interconnected, living system. Life on Earth evolved as an indivisible web of ecological, environmental, and atmospheric dynamics in which the welfare of each component is essential to the welfare of the whole. Rivers are the lifeblood of this global ecological system — literally the veins of the planet — and river protection and restoration is necessary for all living things and the global life-support system.

Contact: Gary Wockner, Director, Gary@SaveTheWorldsRivers, 970-218-8310


Save The World’s Rivers Staff and Board of Directors:

Gary Wockner, PhD, is Executive Director, Founder, and Boardmember.

Gary has been active in environmental protection most of his adult life. Over the past decade, Gary has spearheaded the protection and restoration of his local watershed in Fort Collins, CO, and has played an increasing role around Colorado River protection throughout the Southwest U.S.. In 2010 Gary co-founded and launched the Save The Colorado River Campaign with New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins (makers of Fat Tire Beer). With financial support from New Belgium, Patagonia, and Clif Bar, from 2010 – 2014 Save The Colorado was a small philanthropy that donated funds to non-profit environmental organizations throughout the Colorado River basin. Due to its success, in 2015 Save The Colorado spun off to be a free-standing 501(c)3 with the mission above. Gary is an award-winning international environmental activist and writer — he has been named a “River Hero,” an “Eco-Rockstar Impacting the Planet,” and a “Renowned Environmental Leader” by environmental publications.  More info at

Jennifer Sunderland, Coordinator – Coordinator of whatever needs to be coordinated at Save the World’s Rivers, Jennifer draws on a diverse set of skills developed during her previous work as an anthropologist and middle-school science and English teacher.  In addition to saving rivers, Jennifer works to restore her local foodshed by sustainably growing food for a small band of CSA farm members. During the off-season, she devotes many hours to exploring her local Poudre River and its watershed and has recently taken up fly-fishing as an excuse to spend more time in beautiful places.

Mark EasterMark Easter, Secretary, is a plant ecologist who works at Colorado State University developing greenhouse gas inventory methods for land use, forestry and agriculture. Mark has professional experience calculating greenhouse gas emissions of dam construction projects as well as hydropower reservoir emissions. Mark is an avid backpacker, back country skier, reader, fisherman and kayaker. He values wild rivers and wild places, good government, and healthy, functioning ecosystems. He is committed to wild rivers and wild places and their protection. Mark lives near the Cache la Poudre River in Laramie County, Colorado, and is also a co-founder of Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper.

Dan BeardDaniel P. Beard, PhD, Treasurer, has been a forceful advocate for water policy reform for nearly four decades. He has extensive experience working in the government and private sector. His positions have included Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Staff Director, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on Water and Power. Dan is the author of the 2015 book, Deadbeat Dams: Why we Should Abolish the Bureau of Reclamation and Tear Down Glen Canyon Dam. Dan received his undergraduate degree from Western Washington University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He and his wife Dana have been married 49 years have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, as well as two grandchildren.

Mark DuboisMark Dubois became famous in 1979 when he chained himself to a rock as the Army Corps of Engineers was flooding California’s Stanislaus River behind a huge new dam. In the years after, Mark co-founded California’s river protection organization, Friends of the River, and co-founded the international river advocacy organization, International Rivers Network. Mark was the international coordinator for Earth Day in 1990 and 2000, and has continued to press for environmental protection in various professional roles since then. Mark joined us on our Green River trip last year, and now, as a member of our board, he will help us paddle into the future.

Rob Harding, Chair is a planetary health activist who cares deeply about protecting life on Earth, and doing so in a loving and intentional manner. His superpower is serving as a connector to help accelerate the pace of progress. A graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Accounting, Rob is committed to creating a more just and sustainable world with competence, conscience, and compassion. To that end, Rob serves on the board of The Rewilding Institute and as a trustee of the WILD Foundation.

Emily B. Hite, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist who is passionate about protecting human and water relationships. Her projects examine the justice and equity of decision-making processes that lie at the intersection of hydropower development, Indigenous rights, and climate governance. She works in Costa Rica and the United States, and has traveled extensively to learn about diverse cultures and ecosystems in order to inform more sustainable management solutions. Emily is a research affiliate of University of California Santa Barbara’s Environmental Justice & Climate Justice Hub, developed and leads a Climate Change Interest Group within the American Anthropological Association, and is Assistant Director of the Free-flowing Rivers Lab at Northern Arizona University. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Drexel University and completed a Certificate in Marine Science while sailing in the Pacific with Sea Education Association. Emily earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Florida International University and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Grant Wilson is a lawyer and nonprofit executive who has worked on Earth-centered legal movements for over 10 years. He serves as Executive Director of Earth Law Center and is also an expert member of the World Commission on Environmental Law and the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative. He has helped envision, draft, and implement Rights of Nature laws and policies all over the world. Grant is also a co-lead editor of the seminal Earth law coursebook, Earth Law: Emerging Ecocentric Law—A Guide for Practitioners (Aspen Series, 2021). He earned a J.D. with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School. Grant lives in Durango, Colorado, where he can be found (not easily) hiking, soaking, and floating with his wife and dog.

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