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Waterkeeper Alliance

An organization that binds environmental resources around the country and around the globe

Waterkeeper Alliance is a grassroots organization with local Waterkeeper programs nationally and internationally. It is essentially an organization of organizations. Members include Soundkeepers, Baykeepers, and all the local Riverkeepers.

Waterkeeper Alliance, founded in 1999 by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and several veteran Waterkeeper leaders, strengthens the impact of individual Waterkeeper programs by providing a centralized source of scientific, legal, media and capacity-building resources. Staffed by seasoned environmental organizers and attorneys, the Alliance brings local Waterkeeper organizations together to share the knowledge, insight and skills that help them to protect and defend the well-being of their local water bodies. The Alliance also tackles significant national and international environmental issues that impact the members' communities.

The Waterkeeper Movement began on New York's Hudson River in 1966 when commercial and recreational fishermen united to save the river. In 1983, they hired the first full-time Hudson Riverkeeper to patrol the river, to restore the health of its fisheries and to lead citizen-based enforcement of environmental laws. The early successes of Hudson Riverkeeper spurred an explosive growth of similar grassroots programs. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is the world's fastest growing environmental movement, with member organizations throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia.


  • Waterkeeper Alliance and its 117 Waterkeeper organizations employ 303 full-time and 121 part-time environmental activists, attorneys and scientists.
  • Over 23,000 individuals devote 220,000 volunteer hours each year to support Waterkeeper advocacy and on-the-water efforts.
  • Waterkeepers take personal responsibility for the water bodies they represent, actively patrolling and protecting 67,000 miles of rivers, streams, and shoreline.
  • Over 104,000 individuals and organizations directly support the efforts, and 93% of Waterkeeper organization funds are received and spent locally.
  • When an urgent environmental threat arises, Waterkeeper Alliance can immediately inform and mobilize 167,000 committed, local supporters via an electronic action alerts.
  • The message of citizen-based advocacy is seen and heard daily in newspapers and on television and radio and environmental newsletters and updates reach 325,000 households around the world.

Waterkeeper Alliance's proudest accomplishment is the depth and breadth of its member organizations and the unity of their vision for clean water. Waterkeeper activists play a unique and sophisticated role within the environmental community‚ serving as investigator, advocate, scientist, educator and lawyer. But most importantly, they are concerned citizens who are devoted to protecting local water resources in their communities on a full-time basis. For more information, please visit

Waterkeeper Alliance
50 S. Buckhout, Suite 302
Irvington , New York 10533
Tel: 914.674.0622

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