Who We Are

Genesee RiverWatch was launched in 2014 with the support of its parent organization, the Center for Environmental Initiatives. The work of our Board of Directors, a small part-time staff, dedicated volunteers and generous donations have been critical to the success the organization has achieved to date.

Protecting and Celebrating our River

Genesee RiverWatch works to improve the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational, and economic assets for its communities. We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river.

Our approach to this work is based on core values established over 40 years ago and include a commitment to inform and educate, to base our actions on science and data and to collaborate with others.


Board of Directors


CEI, the organization that became Genesee RiverWatch was founded in 1974 by Elizabeth Thorndike as the Center for Environmental Information. Its original mission was to act as a clearinghouse for environmental information, a convener of experts, and an enabler in solving the serious problems of climate change and acid rain deposition.  As a leader in the field, CEI published Climate Change Digest, convened annual conferences in Washington, and published the conference proceedings in book form.  Over the decades, the organization’s mission evolved and, beginning in 2000, CEI focused on initiatives to improve water quality in the Lake Ontario Basin, achieve wise use of energy, promote green business, reduce the use of toxic materials, and improve air quality.

Throughout its history, CEI worked with citizens, organizations, institutions, government, and businesses to achieve its goals through:

Education: Outreach to a wide range of stakeholders, increasing understanding and appreciation of the issues.

Collaboration: Establishing partnerships with appropriate stakeholders to define problems and develop solutions.

Informed Action: Implementing initiatives and projects supported by our partners and aimed at achieving our goals.

In 2019, CEI officially changed its name to Genesee RiverWatch.  The organization carries on the CEI goals through the Genesee RiverWatch’s diverse work to protect and celebrate the Genesee River.