Nonprofit or community organization riverkeeper.org

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About us

Riverkeeper is an independent, member-supported environmental organization founded on the premise that citizens themselves must roll up their sleeves to defend their waterways.

Our mission is to protect the environmental integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and to safeguard New York City's drinking water supply watershed. On behalf of our members and the people of the Hudson Valley, Riverkeeper uses law, science, and education to defend every citizen's right to clean water and healthy communities.

At any given time, Riverkeeper is involved with as many as 130 actions to protect the integrity of the Hudson River, its tributaries, the Croton watershed, or other waters that affect New York City's water supply. These actions take the form of litigation; investigations; environmental review of development projects; citizen empowerment projects; regulatory review and comment; and local, state, and federal policy issues. In the past, Riverkeeper has successfully challenged the illegal activities of some of the largest and most notorious polluters, including Mobil, General Electric, Consolidated Edison, Metropolitan Transit Authority, the City of New York, and the New York State Department of Transportation.

Riverkeeper maintains a thirty-six foot wooden patrol and research vessel, the R. Ian Fletcher, operated by our Boat Captain, John Lipscomb. Riverkeeper's full-time presence on the river enables us to respond to and investigate new reports of illegal discharges, facilitate scientific research on the Hudson, and provide access to the River to our members, public officials, students and the media.

In accomplishing its mission, Riverkeeper and the communities we work with are a showcase of democracy in action. Despite typically overwhelming odds, Riverkeeper proves time and time again how concerned citizens have the power to reclaim their waterways and reclaim control over their communities and quality of life.

Riverkeeper Programs

Riverkeeper serves as a tireless advocate for the health of the Hudson River and the New York City watersheds. On behalf of a grassroots constituency, we employ a variety of tools and strategies to identify problems, respond to citizen complaints, devise appropriate solutions and enforce environmental laws. Riverkeeper is the public's investigator, scientist, lawyer, lobbyist and public relations agent for the River. One high profile matter affecting the River is the decision by EPA Director, Christine Todd Whitman, to require the General Electric Company to clean up 100,000 pounds of cancer-causing PCBs the company deposited in the Hudson River. However, the strength of Riverkeeper lies in the smaller cases that receive much less press yet are just as important to the communities directly affected by them. While we never shy away from taking on the largest and most formidable of polluters, we never forget that our mission is rooted in protecting individual communities from all levels of environmental harm.

Our Watershed team ensures that the drinking water consumed by 9 million New York City, Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster County residents remains high quality. Riverkeeper accomplishes this through continued monitoring and enforcement of the landmark Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Signed in January 1997 by Governor Pataki, New York City Mayor Giuliani, the U.S. EPA Regional Administrator and dozens of officials from state agencies, all levels of government, and our Clean Drinking Water Coalition, the Agreement is a framework for comprehensive watershed protection. This framework requires intense participation and vigilance from local officials, communities, and environmentalists located in New York City and throughout the NYC Watershed. Since 1990, Riverkeeper's Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and his team of attorneys have focused on halting the degradation of New York City's reservoirs by battling sprawl, monitoring water quality, and combating the over-development of steep slopes and wetlands.

The mission of the Riverkeeper Education Program is to educate students about: the natural and cultural history of the Hudson River Valley and the watersheds of the New York City drinking water supply; the current environmental issues these regions face; and practical ways in which people can use science, conservation, and the law to ensure the protection of local ecosystems. In 2001, we began an aggressive program of outreach and education throughout New York State by visiting more than 50 schools and reaching over 3,000 individuals.

Riverkeeper is calling for the immediate and permanent closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Twenty million people live within a 50-mile radius of Indian Point's reactors which are located in northern Westchester County adjacent to the Hudson River. A terrorist attack on the facility could have devastating consequences, rendering much of the Hudson River Valley, including New York City, uninhabitable.



Contact information

Government ID number: 13-3204621

Email: Log in to view email addresses.


Phone: 914-478-4501

20 Secor Road, Ossining, NY, 10562, US

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