In 2020, the Nantucket Land & Water Council joined a closely-knit global network of nonprofits focused on one thing, and one thing only- clean water. For everyone. Founded in 1966 by a group of blue collar commercial fishermen on New York’s Hudson River to stop industrial polluters from destroying an American way of life, the Waterkeeper Alliance is now the largest and fastest growing nonprofit focused solely on clean water.
The Waterkeeper Alliance connects local nonprofits around the world into a network of like-minded scientists, attorneys, advocates and educators to build coalitions around waterways. By building on the successes of fellow organizations and banding together, over three hundred and fifty Waterkeepers, Baykeepers and Riverkeepers are working towards fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters for all.
Nantucket, with its sole-source aquifer, picturesque harbors, quiet ponds and the vast expanse of Nantucket Sound and the greater Atlantic ocean comprise some of the most iconic and historic natural resources America has to offer. For nearly half a century, the Nantucket Land & Water Council has advocated for the protection of natural resources here on island. By joining the Waterkeeper Alliance, the Land Council is strengthening out commitment to improving and protecting Nantucket’s bountiful aquatic resources.
Contrary to what the name may suggest, a Waterkeeper does not “keep” anything. They don’t own any rivers, lakes or bays. A Waterkeeper serves as the “eyes and ears” for a particular watershed, protecting the public trust. As a non-government, full time advocate, the Nantucket Waterkeeper conducts water quality research, comments at public meetings, and if necessary, hold polluters and violators accountable in court. The Nantucket Waterkeeper is an active presence on the water, in the community and in the classrooms promoting clean water practices.
Here on Nantucket, we are blessed with gorgeous beaches and historic fishing grounds which bring thousands of visitors to our community every summer. Tourists drive and support our economy. The tourism industry is a double-edged sword, however. More people means more electricity usage, more cars on our roads and boats in our harbors. It means more water being drawn from our aquifer, more fertilizer on lawns and gardens, and more sewage headed into septic systems. It means more fishing pressure on our local species. The Nantucket Waterkeeper works tirelessly, year-round to make sure all this humanity can coexist with our fragile ecosystems.
We can’t do this additional work without your help!
We ask for your help to support our water research and programs by making a donation to the Water Fund. Help us continue our critical work by making a Water Fund donation today!