The Waterkeeper movement’s mission and our mission is for swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways worldwide. Our belief is that the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method of grassroots advocacy. Where waters and communities are protected by active Waterkeeper programs, Waterkeeper Alliance makes sure they never have to stand alone. Where waters lack protection, Waterkeepers advocate on their behalf, and for all communities whose right to healthy water is threatened.


The movement began in in the 1960's when recreational and commercial fishermen recognized that outspoken, citizen-led advocacy was the only way to ensure that laws were enforced to protect the Hudson River. They went after industrial polluters and demanded enforcement of regulations. Their success inspired efforts to protect other waterways, and in 1999, the Waterkeeper Alliance was established. Currently, there are more than 300 designated Waterkeepers protecting rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on six continents.

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