Free Rivers Fund (FRF) is a collective of kayakers striving to help grassroot conservation initiatives to keep rivers running free. Our organisation was founded in 2017 by three European kayaker-based activist groups; Balkan River Defence based in Slovenia, Save Our Rivers in Wales, UK and Wildwasser Erhalten Tirol in Austria. Being grassroot activists themselves, each of them understands that running a successful conservation campaign depends on funding, which is often difficult to obtain.
As kayakers we have a special connection to rivers, spending our time on rivers doing what we love. So besides understanding a river’s importance for humans and ecosystems, understanding the impact hydro power projects have on rivers, we have respect for rivers and a strong sense of protection. This is probably why the kayaking community is strongly and increasingly committing to river conservation.
The role of the Free Rivers Fund is small, but important. We are building a bridge between the kayaking industry and anyone willing to contribute to river conservation on the one side and grassroots activists fighting to keep rivers free on the other. The purpose of FRF is to give direct, simple and unbureaucratic financial support to initiatives fighting to protect rivers from being dammed or to make them free flowing again. Everyone can apply for a grant – no need to be running an organisation to protect rivers! On the other hand, we offer a simple way for people, companies and clubs to engage in the struggle for free flowing rivers – knowing that their donations go directly and exclusively towards river conservation.