Community Member


Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

RiverWise exists to help communities reclaim power to determine the future of Beaver County, PA, through community-informed storytelling, managing collaborative projects and partnerships, and providing technical assistance to individuals and organizations. Riverwise is an offshoot and partner of New Sun Rising, which has provided capacity-building services to more than 400 nonprofits, social enterprises and collaborations. RiverWise formally emerged in 2018 in response to the building of a $7 billion petrochemical facility in the county. Shell, one of the largest petrochemical producers in the world, completed construction of the facility in 2022. Since its opening, residents have complained of toxic air caused by the release of chemicals from the plant. While not anti-industry, Riverwise argues for dispensing with economic and ecological colonialism in favor of equitable community building from the grassroots and for marrying economy and ecology in a creative and productive fashion.

RiverWise Summer Sustainability Institute participants spend the morning on the Ohio River.
(Photo courtesy of RiverWise)

Aliquippa, where Riverwise is based, is the largest city in Beaver County and is located on the Ohio River about 18 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Since its founding, RiverWise has worked alongside a growing network of more than 70 regional partners to secure funds that aid individuals, organizations and collaboratives in organizing community power and voice. One way Riverwise gives voice to the community is through its storytelling projects that shed light on environmental justice issues, leaders and projects. Stories have highlighted the chemical spill from the 2023 train derailment in nearby East Palestine, OH, and the toxicity of the Shell petrochemical plant. The group also has partnered with Penn State to host a community discussion forum. And in collaboration with Chatham University, the group launched the Summer Sustainability Institute in 2022, a six-week program for youths to explore the intersection of community and sustainability.

For more information:

$5M in environmental project funding up for grabs in Beaver County – 11 News, January 2024

Environmentalists rally against Beaver County Shell cracker plant after 1 year of operations – KDKA News, November 2023

US DOE Awards $100,000 To Help Beaver County Environmental Justice Communities Go Solar – Pennsylvania Environment Digest Blog, August 2023

‘Boom & Bust’ film on Shell plant & petrochemical industry debuts in Ambridge – Beaver County Times, July 2022

RiverWise hosts virtual town hall to spread awareness of proposed trail project – Beaver County Times, November 2021

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Daniel Rossi-Keen, Executive Director


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Flooding

Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Groundwater Contamination, Noise/Light Pollution, Nuclear Power Plants


Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


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