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Water Works, Margaux Valenti JD'13

The Riverkeeper

As someone who enjoys kayaking and practicing yogaon a standup paddleboard, Margaux Valenti’s passion for clean waterways has a personal dimension.

The Buffalo River alone gives her plenty to work with. On the state and local levels, Riverkeeper, based in Buffalo, N.Y., focuses on habitat restoration, environmental justice, and water quantity and quality. The organization is implementing a $75 million project with a public-private-nonprofit team at the state and federal levels. The project will remove a million cubic yards of contaminated sediment across six miles of river bottomlands and restore more than two miles of riparian habitat “to bring the Buffalo River from industrial and poisonous to fishable, swimmable and open for recreation,” says Valenti, a member of the New York bar.

With Riverkeeper, she helps gain access, through contractual agreements, to private and public lands to install restoration projects, and advises on land and underwater land ownership. Valenti also conducts land acquisition for conservation purposes, advises staff on liability concerns and insurance requirements, and tracks state and Great Lakes legislation and policy.

Riverkeeper is part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, which works to make waterways suitable for drinking, fishing and swimming.