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Urban Waters Partnership

Urban Waters Ambassador Toolkit

In 2011, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) was established to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways to become stewards for clean urban waters. The UWFP is supported by 15 federal agencies and more than 28 nongovernmental organization partners working in 19 designated locations.

The UWFP created the Urban Waters Ambassador program to accelerate and coordinate on-the-ground projects, promote community engagement, and advance water and land protection and restoration. Ambassadors at the 19 locations serve critically important roles as local coordinators, facilitators and leaders.

Since its inception in 2011, the UWFP – including federal and local partners – has received numerous honors and awards. Most notably, on September 27, 2017, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership won the Service to America Medal "People's Choice" Award through the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

Ambassador Toolkit

The Ambassador Toolkit shares lessons learned, valuable tools, and essential resources to help sustain Urban Waters Federal Partnerships and the Ambassador program for years to come. These resources will also support local partners, including state and local governments, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and watershed experts, seeking to replicate the UWFP model. 
The Urban Waters Ambassador Toolkit includes:
  • streamlined overview information about the Urban Waters Ambassador program
  • templates, resources and information for current Ambassadors; and
  • information on sustaining and sponsoring an Urban Waters Ambassador
This toolkit will improve recognition and credibility for the UWFP Ambassador program to ensure ongoing success of the program.

Full Ambassador Toolkit

“[An Ambassador’s] work includes partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and philanthropies to clean up pollution; spur redevelopment of abandoned properties; promote new businesses; and provide parks and access for boating, swimming, fishing, and community gatherings.” – Service to America Medal finalist nomination

General Information

  • The Urban Waters Ambassador Fact Sheet – This fact sheet details the Ambassador’s role, and how the Ambassador positions provide critical benefits to communities. This fact sheet is intended for public audiences and is recommended for use as a handout at events and meetings.

Supporting an Urban Waters Ambassador

  • The Urban Waters Ambassador: Guide to Sustaining the Position – This document discusses transition approaches to help ensure continuity of the Ambassador position. This guidance seeks to help local partnerships find staffing or funding for the Ambassador role. The diverse approaches to sustain the Ambassador position are explained. This document is recommended for use among existing Ambassadors and lead federal and local partners.

  • How to Sponsor an Urban Waters Ambassador Project in Your Community – The document describes the importance and benefits of sponsoring an Urban Waters Ambassador Project. It outlines a potential sponsorship roadmap and demonstrates how Ambassadors have made an impact. This document is intended to be used among any type of Ambassador, federal and local partner, and a sponsoring organization.

Resources & Tools

  • Urban Waters Partnership Workplan Template – This workplan template is intended to provide a model approach to define goals, summarize priority projects and specify milestones. Two completed template examples are included.

  • Grant Writing Support Tips for Ambassadors and Federal Urban Waters Partners – This document provides guidance to Ambassadors on how to identify funding opportunities and assist in preparation of grant applications.

  • Funding Opportunities for Urban Waters Projects - This document provides information on funding opportunities that are relevant to Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) locations. These opportunities have varying levels of commitment and available funding from year to year. This document is recommended for use among existing Ambassadors and lead federal and local partners.

  • Urban Waters Ambassador Position Description Template - This document serves as a job description template for an Urban Waters Ambassador position. It is intended to provide a model for partnerships or hosting organizations. This template is intended to be used among any type of Ambassador, federal and local partner, and sponsoring organization.