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California Coastkeeper Alliance and California Waterkeeper organizations are members of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of water advocates with more than 300 programs in 34 countries on 6 continents led by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. California Coastkeeper Alliance works with Waterkeepers and Waterkeeper Alliance to leverage the power of our network.
California Coastkeeper Alliance works with Waterkeepers to address regional issues in the Western U.S. such as ocean acidification, agricultural pollution and flows for fish. Nationally, we work with Waterkeeper Alliance to strengthen EPA stormwater and other clean water permits and policies. And internationally, we work with Waterkeepers from around the world to make our ecosystems and communities more resilient to sea level rise. California Coastkeeper Alliance joined a delegation of Waterkeepers from China, The Bahamas, and Ecuador at the 2015 Climate Conference of the Parties in Paris.
Waterkeeper Alliance’s 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.
California Coastkeeper Alliance is proud to be one of over 300 Waterkeeper Organizations protecting rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on 6 continents.