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WV Rivers Coalition’s Angie Rosser named River Hero

Award from River Network cites Rosser’s work at making clean water a non-partisan issue

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The River Network, a Colorado-based national nonprofit organization that supports local and statewide organizations involved in restoring and protecting rivers and streams, has named WV Rivers Coalition’s executive director Angie Rosser as one of its 2017 River Heroes. The River Heroes Award was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate people whose efforts to protect and restore their local waters have been extraordinary in scope, scale, impact and heart.

River Network cited Rosser’s work as a steady voice and unifier across political lines, tapping into the values everyone in West Virginia shares: “As the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean rivers and streams in West Virginia, WV Rivers unites diverse coalitions who understand the connection between our public recreation lands and the waters on which we all rely.”

Rosser joined West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) as the executive director in 2012, after serving on the board of directors, with a background working in West Virginia on social justice issues in the nonprofit sector. She is known as someone who brings both a professional commitment to clean water for the common good, as well as a personal desire to protect the waters of the Elk River that flow through her backyard.

Rosser’s colleagues applauded her selection as a River Hero. Evan Hansen, president of Downstream Strategies in Morgantown, said, “During the 2014 water crisis, Angie was the critical public figure who turned the community’s rage into action.”

Paul Dalzell of WV Environmental Council credits Rosser for inspiring him to work for clean air and water. “I would not be doing the work I do without Angie’s leadership, passion, knowledge, and clear focus on protecting the rivers,” he said. “She truly is a River Hero.”

WV Rivers is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Hilary Harp Falk, a regional executive director for NWF, said, “Being a woman conservation leader is not easy. But in four short years Angie has become a leader for rivers in the state and across the country.”

Rosser credits WV Rivers staff and volunteers for the award, and for the growing awareness of the need for safe water. “She brings a unique leadership style and inclusive attitude that proves very effective in building a strong coalition of supporters,” said Autumn Crowe, WV Rivers program director.

WV Rivers outreach manager Kathleen Tyner said she appreciates Rosser’s inclusive approach: “Angie’s ability to bring folks from different paths and viewpoints together, for the betterment of our rivers and streams, is an inspiration to all who work with her.”

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