Gordon Black / Cahaba River Society

Our Campaigns

The Clean Water Network

Goal: Protect our rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways by uniting over 250 local and regional groups so they can be more effective clean water champions.
The people who take action to clean up and protect our rivers, lakes and streams need all the help they can get. Since 2014, our national organization's Clean Water Network has connected these local heroes with each other, uniting over 250 local and regional watershed groups around the country so they can be more effective champions for clean water.
  • <h4>LOCAL HEROES</h4><h5>Across the country, local citizen groups are organizing community cleanups, education events, restoration projects and other efforts to protect their rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways. But they need all the help they can get.</h5><em>staff photo</em>
  • <h4>250 GROUPS STRONG</h4><h5>Through the Clean Water Network, more than 250 local and regional citizen groups from across the country have united. By joining forces to share ideas and expertise, they can become more effective clean water champions.</h5>
  • <h4>WATERWAYS IN ALL 50 STATES</h4><h5>The groups in the Clean Water Network are protecting waterways in all 50 states, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.</h5><em>Don DeBold, CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr</em>
  • <h4>STRONGER NETWORKS, CLEANER WATERS</h4><h5>The more waterkeepers, watershed associations and other groups that join the Clean Water Network, the more effective we all become in keeping our waters clean and healthy.</h5><em>staff photo</em>
Giving clean water heroes a hand

Our lives depend on clean water. Cleaning up our rivers, lakes and streams, and keeping them clean, requires coordinated effort and constant vigilance.

In fact, America’s waterways only started to get cleaner when the people who lived near them began seeing them as places to cherish and protect, not exploit; and began to come together and act on their behalf. Today those local heroes need all the help they can get.

More than 250 members strong

That’s why the Clean Water Network project exists. We connect local clean water groups (often known as watershed groups) with each other, so they can share ideas and resources, and more easily access organizing and other forms of expertise. When necessary, we help them band together to take on bigger challenges.

We work with more than 250 local and regional watershed groups, in all 50 states, that are working to clean up, protect and restore waterways from the Anacostia to the Puget Sound.

Together, we’re more effective

We know this approach is right because it’s already working. The most effective watershed groups in the country today have the most robust connections with other watershed groups.

From Healing Our Waters in the Great Lakes to Choose Clean Water in the Chesapeake Bay, these groups have built deep networks of coordinated support. These coalitions have demonstrably improved water quality over the past decade. The more waterkeepers and other watershed advocates join the network, the more effective all of us become.

From workshops to fly-ins

We are uniquely positioned to provide that support to these efforts.

We’ve coordinated the Clean Water Network since 2014, and we draw upon more than 40 years of grassroots action and advocacy on clean water and other issues. We run workshops to help local and regional groups become more effective advocates for the waters they care about. We also connect the newer groups within the network with the more advanced, so they can share best practices and resources.

Because our members see firsthand how water pollution affects real people and their communities, the Clean Water Network organized a member fly-in event to D.C. to give our local groups a chance to meet the EPA administrators responsible for their regions. We coordinated briefings with the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers and facilitated strategy meetings to ensure that our member groups left with the knowledge and skills necessary to win back home.

An important time

It’s always an important time to protect clean water. But given moves to weaken federal clean water protections during the Trump administration, we need local citizens and groups to be as effective as possible in standing up for the waters that all of us care about.

Keeping our water clean is a responsibility that passes from one generation to the next. A stronger Clean Water Network will help ensure that our nation’s waterways will continue to have watchdogs, advocates and champions for decades to come.

Are you active in an effort to clean up, protect or restore a local waterway? Consider joining the Clean Water Network.

Join the network

Are you active in an effort to clean up, protect or restore a local waterway? Consider joining the Clean Water Network.