"It's simple. Businesses should understand that they have more responsibility than to maximize their profits for their shareholders and themselves, that they have responsibility to the planet. Best way to do it is to just dig in their pockets and give the money away. To those who are willing to do the good work…"

Yvon Chouinard


Where did Free Rivers Fund come from?

The Free Rivers Fund (FRF) originated from the minds of three international kayaking activist. Dan Yates (UK), Rok Rozman (SLO) and Bernie Steidl (AUT) were all engaged in a different struggle against hydropower projects that were threatening the free flowing creeks and rivers of their homes. The idea was to give financial support to those who spend their free time protecting rivers from being dammed. With all three founders being grassroots activist, they have experienced with how vital even small funding is for running a campaign successfully. And how time consuming it is to raise those funds. The Free Rivers Fund intends to help here.

Our intention is for the process to be as easy as possible for small grassroots projects to access money to help cover their costs. We don’t want projects to waste time on applications and forms and rather use that time to reach their conservation goals.

In October 2016, Yates, Rozman and Steidl approached kayaking companies to see if their idea would be supported. It was greatly encouraging that many companies understood the need to protect rivers and were willing to support FRF. This very positive feedback encouraged them to go ahead with establishing the fund.

What does the Free Rivers Fund do?

The Free Rivers Fund collects donations from adventure sports companies and distributes funds to conservation groups. FRF partners with companies in the paddle sports industry, but is also building up co-operations with kayak clubs, and accept private donations as well.

Grassroots conservation projects seeking support can apply once a year. A jury then carefully selects the projects where the funding will make the biggest difference for river protection. That means that the small, community-run projects have just as good a chance of receiving funding as the large, established organizations. To apply the project does not need to be a registered NGO or organization, they can just as well be individuals who are ready to step up to help their local, endangered river. Selected projects will be funded by the Free Rivers Fund for a full year.

How can you help?

Want to get involved? Great!

If you are a company, then take a look at this info sheet and contact us for more details
If you are a club member and wish to promote our cause in your club, then please contact us for info material.
If you are none of the above but motivated to help then you can either become a member, or make a donation .


Free Rivers Fund aims to unite the paddle sports industry with those fighting for our rivers.
By working together we can ensure our rivers stay free flowing!