River Restoration Manager

American Rivers

Seattle or Bellingham, WA, US


American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit www.americanrivers.org.


The River Restoration Manager will lead American Rivers’ efforts to restore rivers through dam removal in Washington and Oregon. We are looking for candidates with the expertise to manage a multi-million dollar dam removal project and the initiative to cultivate additional dam removal projects in the Puget Sound and Columbia River watersheds. This includes leading an effort to strategically build regional capacity to remove dams with nonprofit, municipal, state, federal, and tribal partners. Our ideal candidate will have the ability and aspiration to be a national leader at restoring rivers through dam removal.


  • Work with the City of Bellingham, Washington to manage all aspects of a multi-million dollar dam removal project, including leading the project team and maintaining strong partnerships with city, state, and tribal staff; developing and monitoring the scope of work and budget; hiring and coordinating consultant design engineers and contractors; providing community outreach; maintaining strong relationships with funders including effective grant reporting; and raising additional funds to complete the project through federal, state, foundation, and corporate grants.
  • Provide leadership to increase Northwest regional capacity to remove dams by working with partners to develop and implement a strategy that will likely include fostering new project managers, identifying and increasing funding sources, clarifying and/or working to streamline regulations, and identifying incentives for dam owners to remove dams.
  • Work to increase the number of dam removal projects in the Northwest and serve conservation partners in the region by providing technical assistance on projects, as well as helping to identify and generate new projects. Manage additional projects as time allows.
  • Work with American Rivers Restoration Program staff, regional staff, and development staff to fundraise for Restoration staff and projects in the Puget Sound and Columbia River watersheds.
  • Effectively communicate dam removal approaches and benefits with reporters, social media, public and professional conference presentations, and potentially through published reports or papers.
  • Represent American Rivers at conferences and other events.
  • Regularly respond to email requests for assistance on dam removal and potentially other river restoration-related issues.
  • Be an active teammate with the American Rivers national River Restoration team, engaging in team meetings, collaborating with colleagues on project ideas and approaches, working with team leaders to develop, refine, and implement effective restoration strategies, and participating in team retreats and other related activities.
  • Assist with maintaining operation of a small office. Position location is negotiable around Bellingham or Seattle, but will probably include being in an office with one or two other staff.
  • Work will involve traveling by car to meetings with partners throughout Washington and Oregon; and traveling nationally for conferences, trainings, Restoration Program events, and other American Rivers events.
  • Some aspects of the job description may be tailored to fit the specific skills and interests of our selected applicant and may include other duties as needed.


  • Master’s degree with an emphasis in ecology, fluvial geomorphology, engineering, water resources management, environmental planning, environmental science, economics, policy or equivalent professional experience.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in river restoration or a combination of degree and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and managing on-the-ground restoration projects. Fundraising experience is also strongly preferred.
  • Thorough understanding of effective applied river restoration approaches. Understanding of dam removal is a plus.
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to work well with diverse partners. Experience working in multicultural environments is a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated experience meeting challenging project deadlines.
  • Ability to manage budgets and project tasks in Excel spreadsheets.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to effectively communicate with partners and agency representatives.
  • Demonstrated strength in critical thinking, judgment, and dependability.
  • A team player with strong interpersonal skills and a good sense of humor.
  • Must show initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking, judgment, and dependability.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Full-time and full-time equivalent employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.


Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: [email protected] with “River Restoration Manager” in the subject line. No phone calls please.