5 Dedicated Water Conservation Groups

The earth's hydrosphere is under attack, threatened by pollution, climate change, and other man-made ills. Making sure future generations will continue to have access to fresh water is no easy task. Fortunately, there are people who are working hard to make sure the planet's natural resources are protected. In no particular order, here are some organizations that endeavor to protect oceans, rivers, lakes, and watersheds.

#1 in our overview is Save the Boundary Waters, a campaign led by Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, and organized by local residents in and around Ely, Minnesota. The group is dedicated to creating a national movement to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its watershed, particularly from toxic pollution caused by mining copper, nickel, and other metals from sulfide-bearing ore.

The campaign encourages supporters to take action by voting, and by signing a petition demanding that Congress keep sulfide-ore mining away from priceless natural resources. According to the group, the US Forest Service concluded that a proposed project posed an unacceptable risk of irreparable harm to this area, which contains over a million acres of pristine water and unspoiled woodlands.

Next up, at #2, is Galveston Bay Foundation from Kemah, Texas. The group produces a resource guide with advisories related to topics including water quality, fishing, and consumption of seafood. The Foundation also offers opportunities for volunteers to gain field training and experience in environmental conservation and restoration. In addition, there is an annual festival with activities for children, such as learning how to catch a crab.

Using an interactive tool called the Galveston Bay Action Network, concerned citizens can report pollution in the estuary or surrounding marshes and prairies. Examples of pollutants include sewage, abandoned vessels, fish kill, septic systems, and trash and debris. Once a report has been submitted, it's then sent directly to the appropriate authorities to take action.

Our #3 is the Australian Marine Conservation Society, a charity staffed by scientists, educators, and advocates who work to protect ocean and marine wildlife. With a presence at Ningaloo and at the Great Barrier Reef, AMCS's advocacy campaigns include stopping whaling and supertrawlers, and saving threatened and endangered species such as the Australian sea lion.

The charity works with research centers, employs conservation experts, and advocates for evidence-based solutions rooted in the best available science. AMCS calls for policies such as demanding an independently-monitored, sustainable fisheries plan to stop dugongs and turtles from dying in gillnets in the Great Barrier Reef. The group also manages lobbying campaigns and holds candidate forums so supporters can make informed decisions.

#4 on our list is Chesapeake Conservancy, a non-profit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland. The Conservancy helps protect places including Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. It also safeguards Werowocomoco, which was once the headquarters of the Powhatan, a Virginia Algonquian political and spiritual leader when the English founded Jamestown in 1607.

The nonprofit is made up of entrepreneurs who believe Chesapeake Bay should be a place where wildlife can thrive, as well as an area that's accessible to everyone. To allow more people to experience the Bay, the organization has a feature on its website that allows visitors to take 360-degree virtual tours of places such as Tangier Island, a floating community that is believed to be likely to disappear as sea levels rise.

Finally, at #5 is Cumberland River Compact in Nashville, Tennessee. This organization seeks to address the root causes of water pollution, both urban and rural. Part of that mission involves providing education to groups and individuals as a means of inspiring them to assume active roles in environmental stewardship. One example of this is Creek Critters, a program for elementary school children that empowers kids to take action to protect the earth.

Cumberland River Compact's other educational offerings include online science lessons and collaborations with students on rooftop rain collection initiatives. The group has also participated in historic cave restorations, where watersheds are protected from animal runoff by installing exclusion fencing, and by removing outdated dams that impede the flow of creeks.