Waterkeeper Alliance holds polluters accountable. We’re the largest and fastest growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water. We preserve and protect water by connecting local Waterkeeper organizations worldwide. Our goal is swimmable, drinkable and fishable water everywhere.
Our story started in 1966 when commercial and recreational fishermen, many of them veterans, united to save their river and formed the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association. These fishermen recognized that outspoken, citizen-led advocacy was the only way to ensure that laws were enforced and their river, livelihood and the health of their families were protected. They took on many of the nation’s biggest industrial polluters and won.
In 1983, they hired the first full-time Hudson Riverkeeper to patrol the river, to restore its abundant fisheries and to lead citizen-based enforcement of environmental laws. Since those early days, Hudson Riverkeeper has brought hundreds of polluters to justice and forced them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars restoring the Hudson to health. Their success spurred an explosive growth of similar grassroots programs across the globe, and in 1999 Waterkeeper Alliance was founded to support these programs.
Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is made up of over 300 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates protecting rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on 6 continents. Our proudest accomplishment is the depth and breadth of our member organizations and the unity of their vision for clean water and strong communities.