Activate your inner advocate!

FOR is building a more powerful grassroots base with the River Advocacy Training School

The River Advocacy Training School (RATS) prepares advocates to be knowledgeable about water issues, channel their motivation/expertise as change makers and help build a vibrant river protection community.  The best advocates are people who are ready to learn, try new things and dive in to help turn the tide for our rivers!

Meet our River Advocates!

Winter 2017 

Summer 2016

Winter 2016

Stay tuned for 2018 class dates!

Program Overview

How it works: The RATS program dates for 2018 are TBD. We select up to 10 advocates.

Our program combines educational opportunities with hands-on advocacy practice and engages River Advocates in current FOR campaigns and projects.  River Advocates commit an average of 10 hrs/week, starting with a 4-Day intensive to jump-start the work and participate in monthly opportunities to deepen their impact. River RATS practice advocacy techniques in their communities and support one FOR projects in coordination with staff.

The program culminates in California Rivers Day at the Capitol in May.

When Advocates successfully complete the program in May we offer a chance to train during the summer as a canoe instructor or rafting guide for free (up to $500 value).

Sample program agenda:

  • January 19-22 – Initial Training, Camp Lotus, Lotus, CA
  • Feb, Mar, Apr – Monthly field trips to deepen your experience and build community. (i.e. Legislative visits, canoe conservation outing, whitewater rafting, dam visits) – dates TBD at Training.
  • May 3rd – California Rivers Day (CARD), Sacramento, CA (tentative)

There couldn’t be a more important time for this program. The historic drought demonstrates just how limited and precious water is in California. With climate change we will face even more severe and prolonged droughts within the century. The River RATS program will cultivate a new generation of advocates for rivers and sustainable water solutions to ensure we have a reliable water supply along with healthy and vibrant waterways.

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, advocates can expect to…

  • Be leaders who inspire and motivate others to get involved and make a difference.
  • Understand policymaking processes and how to be a legislative advocate.
  • Have real-world experience in community organizing, education, and outreach.
  • Learn how to be a whitewater rafting or flatwater canoe guide (available after the semester).

A love for the natural environment and passion to protect it. Plus:

  • Creative, resourceful, and able to manage multiple moving parts.
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and committed.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with experience working in teams.
  • Social media, website, and video editing.
Application Instructions

Submit an application, resume and cover letter to

For more information, call Toby Briggs at (916) 442-3155 Ext 223 or email.