Disclaimer: NWNL does not necessarily endorse the agencies and organizations on these lists.
Please contact us with recommended additions. (We do not include for-profit or political enterprises.)

Columbine on Swift Creek, Valemount, BC Canada.   © Alison M. Jones

Call to Action from NWNL: To become involved in providing solutions to water needs, locally or globally, see our Watershed Aid and Solutions list. Remember – it’s too late to be a pessimist!

“No matter what the issue is, it has to be handled at the grass roots. When you take part in something, even though that movement may lose, the juices start flowing and you feel you count.” — Studs Terkel

“America is a great story and there’s a river on every page.” — Charles Kurault


American Rivers: This organization works to protect National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and prevent large new dams on America’s last wild rivers. NWNL partnered with American Rivers on the threatened San Joaquin River in 2014 and 2015.

Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM): This nonprofit organization promotes management of wetland resources while educating members and the public.

Audubon: Audubon aims to conserve and restore natural ecosystems and habitats critical to birds and wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and Earth’s biological diversity.

Audubon – Mississippi Flyway: Audubon’s field offices, chapters and environmental partners are restoring the Mississippi River ecosystem into a thriving waterway and ecosystem resource.

Center for Watershed Protection: This nonprofit provides governments, activists and watershed organizations with technical tools for protecting US streams, lakes and rivers.

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries: Beacon’s mission maintains a global center for scientific/technological innovation regarding rivers and estuaries.

Clean Water Action: This grassroots environmental organization protects America’s waters and empowers people to invest in their environmental future.

The Clean Water Network (CWN): CWN includes over 1,200 public interest organizations, representing more than 5 million people. It works to support federal clean water and wetlands policy and the Clean Water Act.

Ecological Society of America: ESA’s membership promotes the science of ecology through better communications between ecologists via journals, meetings, education and outreach and enhanced connections between the ecological community, governmental policy-makers and the private sector.

Environment America: This national group advocates new laws and policies to mitigate the effects of climate change. Its federation of state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organizations uses email alerts to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote sustainable solutions via research reports, news conferences, interviews with reporters, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, and other public outreach.

Environment Canada – National Water Research Institute (NWRI): NWRI generates scientific knowledge to sustain Canada’s freshwater resources and ecosystems.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF): EDF works with businesses, governments and communities on environmental solutions based on rigorous scientific research.

Environmental Protection Agency – US: The EPA is responsible for protecting and managing our water resources from water pollution as it seriously impacts all living creatures and negatively affects the use of water for drinking, household needs, recreation, fishing, transportation and commerce. The EPA focus covers watersheds, wetlands, rivers, lakes, estuaries, ground water and marine water.

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS): This governmental organization works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.

Garden Club of America: The GCA supports the 1972 Clean Water Act and endorses a watershed-based approach to solving water contamination, wetlands loss, urban and agricultural run-off, andwater scarcity. Its members work to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.

Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN): The IWRN’s network of networks builds and strengthens water-resource partnerships; promotes education and exchange of information and technology; and supports integrated water-resource management.

LightHawk: The largest and oldest environmental aviation organization in North America, LightHawk completes over 700 flights each year for partners, media, researchers, stewards and decision-makers throughout ten countries in North and Central America.

National Canal Museum: An affiliate of Smithsonian Institute, this Pennsylvania museum’s artifacts display the historic importance of towpath canals to American shipping and commerce in the 19th century.

National Rural Water Association: Teaming Up for Rural Water EfficiencyWorking with the EPA’s Office of Water, this group is committed to reducing water waste and inefficiency and increasing awareness of the value of water.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF): NWF protects clean water through national and regional programs. NWF also ensures the US Army Corps of Engineers protects wildlife, plants and fish when planning, constructing and operating projects.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): NRDC’s 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals help protect threatened US waterways.

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC): This nonprofit partners with corporate and individual landowners to protect natural treasures via property securement.

North American Lake Management Society (NALMS): This Society forges partnerships among citizens, scientists and professionals to foster management and protection of lakes.

The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative works together with private organizations, state, tribal, and federal conservation communities to address threats to the climate and landscapes in the Northeast. Their work includes scientific monitoring and evaluating, ecological planning, conservation adoption, and much more.

Riverkeeper: Riverkeeper works to protect the Hudson River Basin and safeguard New York City’s drinking water supply. It is the model for the Waterkeeper movement.

Trout Unlimited (TU): Trout Unlimited collaborates with other conservation interests, local communities, and state and federal partners to rebuild the resiliency of watersheds.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): This water management agency is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining US water resources.

Waterkeeper Alliance: As an umbrella organizaiton of all U.S. and International Riverkeepers, Baykeepers and Channelkeepers, this organization supports advocates in over 100,000 miles of global rivers, streams and coastlines threatened by polluters and government agencies.

The Wilderness Society: This US conservation organization, co-founded by Aldo Leopold, works to protect public land. It raises awareness of the values of America’s shared wildlands, which include provisioning of clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, vital natural resources that need sustainable management, and havens for recreation, solitude and learning. As Aldo Leopold warned, “Wilderness is a resource which can shrink, but not grow.” (See video.)

Wildlands Network works with a growing network of international supporters, partners and allies to connect and support four Continental Wildways, large protected corridors of land running coast to coast and north to south throughout Canada, the US and Mexico. To help mitigate climate change effects on habitats and maintain ecological balance by reducing landscape fragmentation, Wildlands Network builds wildlife bridges, creates scientific maps and reintroduces keystone species. In turn this supports all natural resources, including clean fresh water supplies.

Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y): Combining science and stewardship, Y2Y seeks to ensure that the wilderness, wildlife, native plants and natural processes of the Yellowstone to Yukon region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, supporting its natural and human communities, for now and for future generations.

[Updated June 15, 2016]