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Protecting the lifeblood of Texas

About the Colorado River Alliance

The Alliance’s primary goal is to educate today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders, ensuring a legacy of a healthy river, sustainable use of water resources, and communities dedicated to protection and conservation.

Our Mission

Champion the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement


A healthy, flowing river is imperative to the long-term well-being of the communities through which it runs.


With a commitment to innovation and collaboration, the Alliance provides educational and engagement activities that empower Texans with knowledge and tools to protect the Texas Colorado River and ensure its long-term vitality.

By crafting meaningful, memorable hands-on experiences and providing access to information about the River; always with a commitment to innovation and collaboration.


Founded in 1994 with support from LCRA, the Alliance is now a standalone 501(c)3 leading programs which reach 14,000 community members and school children annually. The Colorado River Alliance continues to partner with LCRA to provide river stewardship education and to be a champion for the people, ecosystems, communities, and businesses that depend on this essential natural resource.

Educate & Engage
reached by our programs every year
of trash removed from the river every year
gallons of water conserved every year
Innovative programs, inclusive outreach, community engagement

Keeping our river fishable, swimmable, and drinkable for generations

See our 2022 Impact Report

Meet our team

Executive Director

Adrienne Longenecker

Serving as the Executive Director at Colorado River Alliance, Adrienne drives the organization’s strategic growth, partnership development, and oversees the talented and dedicated staff team. Prior to her current role at Colorado River Alliance, Adrienne worked as a Chief Operating Officer with Hill Country Conservancy, where she was responsible for strategic direction for all operational areas including finance and budgeting, HR, educational programs, volunteerism, communications, marketing, and resource development and helped lead the design the first strategic plan for the organization.

A passionate community servant well-known for vision, creativity, and consensus building, Adrienne volunteers as Vice Chair of External Relations for the Board of Directors of the Global Association of Fundraising Professionals and as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Austin Outside, a group that champions outdoor places for all throughout Greater Austin.

Adrienne attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Adrienne enjoys yoga and taking long walk with her son and two dogs.

Katie Bedrich
Program Director

Katie Bedrich

Katie works with a wide range of schools, educators, and service groups to inspire our future river stewards, with the goal of engaging students from underrepresented and underserved populations.

She manages a passionate team of volunteers and interns to teach elementary school students the importance of conserving and protecting the Texas Colorado River through the Field Trip Program. Katie also plans and facilitates environmental action and community outreach events, including creek cleanups and restorations in the Austin area.

Katie holds a B.A. in journalism and Spanish from The University of Alabama.

Director of Philanthropic Operations

Natalie Schuessler

In her role as Director of Philanthropic Operations, Natalie works closely with the generous individuals, corporations, and foundations that make the Colorado River Alliance’s one-of-a-kind programming possible.

A native Austinite, Natalie is passionate about making a difference in her hometown. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of Development at UT’s College of Fine Arts and started her career at Austin-based nonprofits Emancipet and the Austin Film Society.

Natalie attended Syracuse University where she studied journalism. She can typically be found cooking, reading or on a walk with one of her dogs.

Program Coordinator

Emily Rafferty

Emily graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Sustainability Studies. She is pursuing her passion for sustainability at the CRA by working to educate the local community and future environmental stewards on the importance of water conservation and the Colorado River.

She instills an enthusiasm for water science in 7th graders all over the river basin by bringing the Mobile River to schools for an immersive experience. Emily also coordinates the Lake Travis Cleanup program which brings Central Texans together to clean the waters and shoreline of Lake Travis.

Emily loves spending time outside, practicing yoga, and gardening in her free time.

Communications and Programs Coordinator

Madyson Sanchez

Madyson graduated from Texas State University with a B.S. in Geography Resource and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining staff at the Colorado River Alliance, she worked as an Environmental Education Intern and taught water science education to 3rd through 5th graders during field trips to the Wilkerson Center for Colorado River Education.

As Communications and Programs Coordinator, Madyson serves the CRA team by serving and fulfilling the outreach needs of the organization while accomplishing its mission to champion the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River by increasing youth stewardship through bilingual programming. She is motivated to bring up a generation inspired to protect and uplift their vital water supply.

In her free time, Madyson enjoys bouldering, spending time outside, and hanging out with her cat, Stella.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee


John Erskine, Chief Operating Officer, Cloud Imperium Games Corporation


Jennifer Walker, Senior Water Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation


Justin Westmoreland, Regional President Central Texas Area, Prosperity Bank

Development Chair

John Pitts, Jr., Principal, Texas Star Alliance

At-Large Officer

Breck Harrison, Litigation Partner, Jackson Walker, LLP

At-Large Officer

Wade Webster, President & Chief Operating Officer, Pinnergy

Board Members

Sally Allen, Senior Director of Foundation Relations, University of Texas at Austin

Susan Bufkin, Educator, Community Volunteer

Susan Butler, Global Technology Lead, Integrated Water Resources Management, Jacobs

Hondo Powell, Vice President of Regional Affairs, Lower Colorado River Authority

Augusto Villalon, Account Director, Freese and Nichols

David Yeates, Senior Vice President Commercial Lending, Prosperity Bank

Advisory Council

Under the direction of Founding Member Ray Wilkerson, the Advisory Council members serve as critical community champions for the Colorado River Alliance. With key stakeholders and decision-makers from throughout the Colorado River basin, members share their gifts in service to our mission by providing professional expertise; their diverse knowledge of constituent perspectives; their connections to local and regional resources, colleagues, and peers; and their philanthropic support. The Advisory Council has no governing function within the organization.

Pam Akins
Joseph Beal
Kyndel Bennett
Paul Bury
John Dickerson, III

Gary Farmer
Dan Herd
Laura Huffman
Arthur Milberger
Robert Neblett

Peter Pincoffs
Pat Robertson
Andy Sansom
Ray Wilkerson
Peggy Winkler

Endowment Board

The Friends of the Colorado River Endowment is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation that manages a small fund to support the Colorado River Alliance’s programs.


Jim DeCosmo, Community Volunteer

Vice President

Mike McHenry, Wedding Oak Winery


Robert Neblett, Jackson Walker


Ray Wilkerson, Ray Wilkerson Companies


Steve Cooper, Emerald Ag Investments


Explore our programs


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College Students/ Recent Grads