Who We Are

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

underwater image looking up at the surface

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 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 Waterkeeper groups that are on the front lines of the planetary environmental 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 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, Waterkeepers speak for the waters they defend—with the collective strength of Waterkeeper Alliance and the backing of their local communities.

Our staff is made up of talented and passionate activists working daily to protect and preserve the world's waterways.

Project Osiris

A bold expansion of our successful model of organizing local communities to protect their watersheds.

Read our Annual Report

And learn more about the global impact of the Waterkeeper movement.

View and download Waterkeeper Alliance's Audited Financial Statements and IRS 990 forms.