The RiverNet project addresses the development of distributed sensor networks for monitoring of environmental variables and will demonstrate this capability through observations of the Hudson River and Estuary. The project approach is based on the systematic development of a scalable sensor network architecture and multisensor fusion algorithms that support the detection and interpretation of environmentally important events and variables. Simulation tools will be utilized in development, and experiments using fixed and mobile underwater platforms will be employed. The impact of this research will be the exploration and application of distributed sensor networks for environmental monitoring, biological observation, and critical infrastructure management throughout the world. The monitoring of distributed environmental systems also specifically supports the challenge of cybersecurity for critical infrastructure. The educational program will include extensive outreach and opportunities for direct web-based access to river observations and models available for introductory, advanced, and public educational programs.