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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.

Education
Engagement
Our Mission

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

Why

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

How

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.

When

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
14,000
reached by our programs every year
Protect
5,000
of trash removed from the river every year
Conserve
20
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.

Development and Communications Director

Christine Herlin

As the Development and Communications Director, Christine unites the Colorado River Alliance community to champion the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River. Christine works to develop meaningful partnerships and relationships to raise funds to support the mission of Colorado River Alliance while leading brand strategy and communications to deepen engagement and awareness for our state's lifeblood and greatest natural resource.

Christine has built her career in the development of relationships. Prior to Colorado River Alliance, Christine served as the Associate Director of Growth at Code2College where she spearheaded the organization's Stakeholder Success department and as the Director of Nonprofit & Customer Relationships at I Live I Give Here where she contributed to the community-wide success of Central Texas' Amplify Austin Day and Giving Tuesday campaigns, raising over $100M for hundreds of Central Texas nonprofits during her tenure. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University.

In her free time, Christine likes to get outside with her family including two young boys and a rescue pup. You can typically find the Herlins out on the trail, at a local park, or fixing up their 1990's pop-up camper for riverside camping weekends.

Program Coordinator

Madison Darwish

After graduating from Texas State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, Madison worked for a variety of organizations centered around water, wildlife, and the environment. In her personal life, she is a passionate birder, angler, and conservationist who hopes to inspire other young people to connect with the outdoors. Madison has a background in facilitating conservation education amongst community members of all ages and abilities. Before joining the Colorado River Alliance staff, she served the Austin and San Marcos communities as an Aquatic Education intern with The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and an Environmental Interpreter for The Meadows Center for Water and The Environment.

As the program coordinator for The Mobile River program, Madison brings the river directly to the schools of 7th graders in the Texas Colorado River Basin. She is motivated by connecting students to their environment through The Mobile River program by providing hands-on exhibits designed to teach the importance of Austin’s water source and its future. She helps builds up college students and young professionals through assisting with CRA’s Internship and Volunteer Programs, where experience and opportunities bloom. Madison is driven by conservation awareness and wants to teach others to protect and uplift our community and its water supply.

Program 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 Program Coordinator, Madyson serves the CRA team by creating lasting memories for students of all ages and meeting the organization’s 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. Through CRA’s Internship Program, Madyson assists in providing college students and young professionals valuable real-world experience, an opportunity to build their networks, and a chance to inspire people to care for their River.

In her free time, Madyson enjoys bouldering, hiking through natural areas, and hanging out with her cat, Stella.

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.

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.

Treasurer

Robert Neblett, Jackson Walker

Secretary

Ray Wilkerson, Ray Wilkerson Companies

Your contributions added to our week-long UT GeoForce curriculum immensely—the students really got a lot out of your presentations! Four of our students were selected to present their poster on Lake Austin work at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in December in San Francisco—this is the largest Earth sciences meeting in the world—so VERY exciting for them and for us!

Marcy DavisEngineering Scientist, Institute for Geophysics | The University of Texas at Austin
Education

Explore our programs

Engagement

Check out our events

Volunteers remove thousands of pounds of trash from Lake Travis
Watch the 2023 Lake Travis Cleanup highlight