Find Assistance for Your River

People kayak the Cuyahoga River.
Park visitors kayak down the Cuyahoga River.

Protecting Water

The Water Resources Division (WRD) is one of eight divisions that make up the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate of the National Park Service. WRD was established to provide servicewide program management and specialized advice and assistance to parks in the protection and management of water resources. The division is comprised of three branches: Aquatic Systems, Ocean & Coastal Resources, and Water Rights.

WRD exists to ensure that current and future generations can experience healthy aquatic ecosystems in the National Park System. It provides assistance, expertise, and guidance for aquatic ecosystem stewardship. WRD provides its services directly to parks through a broad range of programs in the areas of fisheries, natural resource condition assessments, information management, hydrology, ocean & coastal resources, wetlands, water quality, and water rights.

Hydropower Assistance

The National Park Service provides technical assistance on Hydropower Licensing Proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Rivers, Trail, and Conservation Assistance Program

The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation.

Our national network of conservation and recreation planning professionals partners with community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities.

Water Law and the National Park Service

A water right is a legal authorization for a person to divert and put to "beneficial use" water from a water source, such as a stream, pond, lake, or aquifer. The National Park Service secures water rights as necessary to provide water for staff and visitors and to protect water-related resources in parks.

Get Involved

The Park Service works on rivers with a variety of community, tribal, state, federal, and nonprofit partners to protect and enhance rivers for future generations.

Last updated: January 10, 2018