The first Riverkeeper patrol boat was launched by military veterans and fishermen who mobilized in 1966 to challenge polluters on the Hudson River. That Riverkeeper’s contribution to the Hudson’s amazing recovery has inspired the growth of over 200 autonomous “Waterkeeper” organizations across the world. Waterkeepers (including Alabama’s Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper, Hurricane Creekkeeper, Little River Waterkeeper, Mobile Baykeeper, and Tennessee Riverkeeper) patrol waterways, respond to citizen complaints, and enforce environmental laws.
Waterkeeper Alliance was founded in 1999 to connect and support local Waterkeeper organizations, each of which is an independent organization protecting its waterway and community. Waterkeeper Alliance offers legal, scientific, and capacity-building advice, provides networking opportunities, and often advocates for issues common to multiple local Waterkeepers (such as coal pollution, a major issue in the Black Warrior River watershed). To view the entire list of over 200 Waterkeeper programs worldwide, visit www.waterkeeper.org.
On September 25, 2001, Waterkeeper Alliance approved Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s membership application by David Whiteside. Black Warrior Riverkeeper became the 72nd Waterkeeper program. Our staff Waterkeeper is Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper.
To read the History of Waterkeeper Alliance by Charles Scribner (Executive Director, Black Warrior Riverkeeper) click here: http://www.blackwarriorriver.org/library/History_Waterkeeper_Alliance.pdf
Waterkeeper Alliance videos:
Who are the Waterkeepers?
Waterkeeper Alliance in 90 seconds
Waterkeeper Clean Water Act 40 PSA.mp4
Clean Water Act 40th Anniversary with Waterkeeper Alliance