River Protection

River Protection

Protecting and promoting rivers throughout the Northeast.

Across our region, AMC engages paddlers in river conservation. We play leadership roles in watershed-wide coalitions that work to advance conservation, restoration, stewardship, and public access. Our support for rivers and waters of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic includes working in partnership with diverse stakeholders to plan and build new recreational infrastructure such as river campsites, access points, and paddling maps and guides.

AMC has a long history of protecting and enjoying the rivers and waters of the Northeast: from historic accounts of quiet water paddling in the 1880s, to hosting whitewater paddling trips in the 1910’s, publishing the first skills based instructional book in the 1930’s, and offering paddling experiences today. Rivers are a publicly owned resource, and AMC works to protect free flowing and pristine rivers, restore and enhance rivers, and connect people to them by developing water trails and appropriate recreation infrastructure. Here are some of our key initiatives.


Wild & Scenic

AMC advocates for the protection of pristine places. The most valuable program to protect our most special rivers and watersheds in the country is the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Program. Congress passed the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in 1968 to permanently protect rivers that are “free-flowing and possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.” In the Northeast, designated Wild & Scenic Rivers are managed both by federal agencies and through a unique partnership approach of local stakeholders. AMC is an active supporter of currently designated Wild & Scenic Rivers and advocates for Congress to consider adding additional rivers to the program.


Delaware River Watershed

AMC has a long history of enjoying the outdoors in the Delaware River Watershed, while supporting conservation and hands-on stewardship there and the nearby Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. AMC is an active member of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, formed to help protect and restore the Delaware River, its tributaries, and surrounding landscapes. AMC supports federal investments in the watershed through the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, as well as supporting other public policy initiatives focused on conservation across the watershed including the continued protection of more than 200 miles of the Delaware River and its tributaries protected under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.


Connecticut River Watershed

AMC has been active in the Connecticut River Watershed for more than a century, from early paddling explorations by our members on the Connecticut River and its tributaries in the late 1800’s, to present day development and stewardship of the New England National Scenic Trail and the CT River Paddlers’ Trail. We are also a member of the Friends of Conte a coalition working in support of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which shares the same boundary as the Connecticut River Watershed.


Dams and Hydropower Licensing

Dams exist across the Northeast. These structures serve both useful and useless purposes, some providing critically important flood control functions, others for electricity generation, while most have outlived their original function and should be removed. AMC’s participation in the management of these structures for electricity generation ensures that both the recreational and conservation values of the river system can be maximized. AMC also supports low-impact hydropower and believes that independent certification of hydroelectric projects by the Low Impact Hydroelectric Institute is the best way to differentiate a project as low impact.

Action Center

Hard science, focused advocacy, and a whole lot of hands-on work have defined AMC’s conservation mission from the beginning. But it’s your support that carries the day in community meeting houses, in Congress, and in untrammeled wilderness alike. Learn more about our conservation initiatives and how you can contribute through our Conservation Action Network.

Take Action