Celebrating the River Authority River Warrior Volunteers

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River Warriors as they completed another successful cleanup!

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Who are the River Warriors?

San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) River Warrior volunteers are integral to our agency’s vision of inspiring actions for healthy creeks and rivers. Every year the River Warriors dedicate thousands of volunteer hours to helping protect and preserve our precious waterways. Here are some of their impressive accomplishments over the past year:

  • Trained River Warriors removed 1,680 invasive apple snails and 3,365 egg cases. Multiply that number by approximately 1,000. That’s how many individual snails can hatch out of one egg case! This was almost 40% of the total removal efforts since these snails were first observed in our river in October 2019. Read more about apple snail removal efforts.
  • River Warrior Beaver Dam Building Teams built 16 small and big dams in just seven workdays at Medina River Natural Area (MRNA) as part of Texas’s first-ever pilot beaver dam building project.


  • Local Texas Stream Team water quality citizen scientists conducted 157 monitoring events. They tested for pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and other parameters while contributing valuable field observation data.
  • As part of the 2022 City Nature Challenge in April, 681 volunteers made 11,750 observations of 1,976 wildlife and plant species within our watershed, providing essential data for helping species of greatest conservation need. Want to submit your observations? Download the FREE iNaturalist app and join the San Antonio River Watershed project.

A map of the many observations made in the San Antonio River Watershed during the 2022

A map of many observations made in the San Antonio River Watershed during the 2022 CNC.

  • Over 600 River Warriors and other local groups have removed thousands of pounds of trash on land and water. Just this last year, they documented and tagged 27,904 pieces of litter on the Litterati app.
  • River Warriors spent over 2,500 hours of volunteer time this year, sporting huge smiles and wonderful camaraderie.

2022 Volunteer Appreciation Mixer and Awards

At the 2nd Annual River Symposium Volunteer Appreciation Mixer this September, we celebrated our passionate and dedicated volunteers and their stewardship of local creeks and the San Antonio River. General Manager of the River Authority Derek Boese presented the 2022 Champion Awards to River Warrior volunteers who not only dedicated their time and effort to various projects but also took on leadership roles this year.

Volunteer Mixer


Champion Water Quality Citizen Scientist Award

Lissa Martinez, Scott Rippeth, Rachel Cywinski, and Raymond Kinsel contributed many hours monthly to test for water quality in our creeks and rivers and helped with identifying and training new monitors.

Invasive Apple Snail Removal Champion Award

(Below) David Mullins single-handedly collected 1,825 snails and 1,483 egg casings in the last four months.

Volunteer counts Apple Snail collection.

Champion Beaver Dam Builder Award

Jim Funk, Lynda Chew, Tina Morgan, Martha Camacho, Terry Glaser, Darrell Maatsch, Mike Stovall, Melissa Marsh, John Tully, Jeremy Tometczak, and Marion Mulligan-Tyler won this award. These Warriors showed up monthly to the Medina River Natural Area (MRNA), where they hiked one mile into the deep brush to build intricate beaver dams. These structures help reduce erosion issues as part of a new pilot project at MRNA.

iNaturalist Champion Award

Peter Hernandez co-led the effort in training community members to contribute valuable bio-diversity data through the iNaturalist citizen science app.

Paddling Crew Champion Award

Cheryl Wallek assisted in building a kayak crew to support our litter pickup initiative from the water.

The newly formed River Warrior Paddling Crew helps clear litter from local creeks and the San Antonio River.


Champion Litter Picker Award

Robert Gonzalez is a Paddling Crew member who works tirelessly to collect trash along the waterways every time he goes for a paddle on the San Antonio River.

Litterati Champion Award

Noah Cantu recorded data on a whopping 6,012 pieces of litter on the Litterati app, becoming the top contributor to this litter data collection effort.

Noah Cantu receives award for most litter collections using Litterati

Noah Cantu (right) with Derek Boese, General Manger of the River Authority.

Champion River Warrior Volunteer Family Award

These families were recognized for contributing many hours of volunteer support at our agency-wide events.

  • Yvonne and Armando Carmona
  • Tom, Kareen, Julia, and Carol Luna Strickler
  • Barbara and Carl Scheib

Champion Business Volunteer Partner Award

JPMorgan Chase was recognized as our top corporate volunteer partner for their assistance with litter clean-ups, iNaturalist challenges, and engagement in other sustainability initiatives.

River Warriors after a successful clean up effort


Be River Proud Earth Week, 2022 Litterati Challenge Champion Award

This year the Alamo Area Master Naturalists won the Earth Week Litterati Challenge by documenting 2,238 pieces of litter in April of 2022. They received 25 kayak vouchers and a trash trophy created by local artist Gary Sweeney, who made the art piece with rubbish collected locally from the Mission and Museum Reaches. During this challenge, 63 members of participating organizations documented and tagged a whopping 8,940 pieces of litter.

River Warriors receive coveted litter award

Minna Paul, Education and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at the River Authority, and Frates Seeligson, Executive Director of the San Antonio River Foundation present the trash trophy to Alamo Area Master Naturalist chapter liaisons Cheryl Wallek, Peter Hernandez, and Christopher Fullerton.

The River Authority is forever grateful to receive the unwavering support and dedication from many community volunteers and their families. We recognize their contributions toward building a community that cares and works together toward our mission of safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers!

The River Reach is back!

River Reach is a quarterly, 12-page newsletter that is designed to inform the San Antonio River Authority’s constituents about the agency’s many projects, serve as a communication vehicle for the board of directors and foster a sense of unity and identity among the residents of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties.

If you wish to be placed on the mailing list for River Reach, please contact us or complete the form.

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San Pedro Creek: Rains from the Heavens

The Rains from the Heavens water wall at San Pedro Creek will be shut off due to maintenance Tuesday, June 18th. There will also be some road closures that day, so please be mindful if you are in this area. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Acequia Trail Notice

The Acequia trail will have heavy traffic near MROC starting May 22nd until further notice. The SAWS Acequia project will be bringing in crews to work on the lift station site and across the street. There will have flaggers to stop traffic, please use caution. 

SASPAMCO Paddling Trail

The SASPAMCO paddling trail is open from River Crossing Park to Helton Nature Park.
*Please Note: Paddling Trail from Helton Nature Park to HWY 97 is still closed due to blockages. 

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