Mission & History


Clean water for all Chesapeake and coastal communities.


Waterkeepers Chesapeake fights for clean water and a healthy environment by supporting Waterkeepers throughout the Chesapeake and coastal regions as they protect their communities, rivers, and streams from pollution.

Diversity & Inclusivity

Waterkeepers Chesapeake recognizes that the Chesapeake Bay watershed is a region of vibrant diversity. It is our policy to be inclusive and mindful of this diversity in our organizational policies, programs, and interactions with others.  As an organization, we affirm all people regardless of their age, culture, disabilities, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.


In 2004, nine individual Riverkeeper programs within the Chesapeake Bay watershed came together as a regional coalition of Waterkeeper programs to build regional campaigns led by a single Coordinator hired under the fiscal sponsorship of Waterkeeper Alliance. In 2007, the regional coalition of then fifteen Riverkeeper programs petitioned Waterkeeper Alliance to adopt the name ‘Waterkeepers Chesapeake’, after a very successful regional Stormwater Campaign that resulted in stronger regulations throughout the watershed.

The growth of the network of Waterkeepers has been phenomenal, and has doubled since 2004 to now include 17 Waterkeepers. We incorporated in 2012 as a Maryland nonprofit and received our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in 2014. In 2012, the first Board of Directors was elected and an Executive Director hired. In 2014, WATERKEEPERS® Chesapeake became licensed under Waterkeeper Alliance and was designated a region within the Alliance.


WATERKEEPERS® Chesapeake is a member of WATERKEEPER® Alliance, the world’s fastest growing environmental movement, uniting more than 200 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and focusing citizen action on issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. These Waterkeeper organizations are on the frontlines of the global water crisis patrolling and protecting more than 1.5 million square miles of waterways on six continents.

The Waterkeeper movement’s mission is for swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways worldwide. Our belief is that the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method of grassroots advocacy. Waterkeeper Alliance is the voice for the world’s waters, from the Great Lakes to the Ganges. Where waters and communities are protected by active Waterkeeper programs, we make sure they never have to stand alone; where waters lack protection, we advocate on their behalf, and for all communities whose right to healthy water is threatened.

Visit www.Waterkeeper.org for more information.

Waterkeeper is a registered trademark and service mark of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Inc, and is licensed for use herein.