Waterkeeper Alliance

About Us

United as one powerful force, Waterkeeper Alliance fights for every community's right to drinkable, fishable, swimmable water.

Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water.

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 drinkable and fishable, swimmable water everywhere.

Every day around the world, polluters are poisoning our waterways, and people everywhere are suffering the consequences. When a coal company discharges millions of gallons of toxic coal ash into a river, families who depend on that waterway as a drinking-water source are the innocent victims. When a developer demolishes a forest of mangroves, it destroys fisheries and devastates the local economy. When hog farms dump untreated waste into a waterway, people and marine life get sick. These are just a few examples of the battles that Waterkeeper Alliance fights every day around the world on behalf of the common good and to protect everyone’s right to clean water.

The Waterkeeper movement was started by a band of blue-collar fishermen on New York’s Hudson River in 1966 because industrial polluters were destroying their way of life. Their tough, grassroots brand of environmental activism sparked the Hudson’s miraculous recovery and inspired others to launch Waterkeeper groups around the world.

Today, Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 300 Waterkeepers Organizations and Affiliates that are on the frontlines of the global water crisis, patrolling and protecting more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on six continents.

From Alaska to the Himalayas, the Great Lakes to Australia, the Waterkeeper movement defends the fundamental human right to drinkable, fishable and swimmable waters, and combines firsthand knowledge of their local waterways with an unwavering commitment to the rights of their communities.  

Whether they’re on the water tracking down polluters, in courtrooms enforcing environmental laws, advocating in town meetings or teaching in classrooms, the Waterkeeper movement speaks for the waters it defends – with the collective strength of Waterkeeper Alliance and the backing of local communities.

Waterkeeper Alliance ensures that the world’s Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates are as connected to each other as they are to their local waters, organizing the fight for clean water into a coordinated global movement.

Read our 2016 Annual Report