The Environmental Movement:

Past events include:  All Water Has a Memory: Rivers and American History and a digital walk on the Harlem River.  Also included is a brief video on the Concord River created during the pandemic. You can read more about the goals of this project and the river history conference in the journal Open Rivers.

Environmental Movement Panel:

Slavery and Freedom Panel:

Indigenous Resistance Panel:

Virtual Harlem River Walk:

Teaching River History

View the full syllabus for the Columbia University History Department’s Rivers, Politics, and Power in the US course and consider how you might adapt it for your own classroom or community group.  This article features a class field trip on the Harlem River.

Rivers present a unique opportunity for historical recovery as in this article written for Historic New England.

Op-eds are another great way to teach and advocate for rivers, such as Scot McFarlane’s op-ed about the Trinity River in the Dallas Morning News.  You can visit the OpEd Project for tips on how to write and submit your own piece.


External River Resources

The links below include river history resources such as articles, archives, and model storymaps created beyond Confluence

Open Rivers Journal

Open Rivers Journal is published every season by the University of Minnesota with articles from scholars and community and environmental activists, a great model for the intersection of these worlds and rivers.  

Documerica Project

The Documerica photographs were commissioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency during the 1970s. Given their focus on environmental challenges, rivers are featured prominently. Since the government paid for these images they are all in the public domain, which make them a good source for your own storymaps and other public river projects. 

Schuylkill River & Urban Waters Research Corps Archive

This project, sponsored by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, includes digital archives, maps, and tours related to Philadelphia’s waterways. 

African American Heritage Water Trail- Chicago

Created by Openlands, this storymap uses the Calumet River to explore African American history. 

African American Heritage Trail- Alexandria

This storymap was created by Alexandria, Virginia’s African American Heritage Trail Committee, and can be done online or while walking along the Potomac River. 

A Project Like No Other- St. Lawrence River

This storymap explores the transformation of the St. Lawrence River along the US/Canadian border. 

The Border Wall and the Rio Grande

Created by Defenders of Wildlife, this storymap, shows the costs of building a wall along the Rio Grande.

Rivers as Roads

Centered on Poverty Point, this storymap shows how the Mississippi River enabled a vast network of trade among its Native American inhabitants. 

The Hardest Working River in the West

Created by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, this storymap takes a policy perspective on the Colorado River and its limited supply of water.