The Waterkeeper Alliance connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs to provide a voice for waterways and their communities worldwide. To champion clean water and strong communities, the Waterkeeper Alliance supports and empowers member Waterkeeper organizations to protect communities, ecosystems and water quality; promotes the Waterkeeper model for watershed protection worldwide; and advocates for issues common to Waterkeeper programs.
Each Waterkeeper program reflects the needs of the waterbody and community it represents. The common thread is a full-time person who serves as the Waterkeeper, the public advocate for that body of water. Waterkeepers are part investigator, scientist, lawyer, and advocate. A Waterkeeper's "clients" are all the users of the watershed for which the Waterkeeper advocates. A successful advocate has a diverse bag of tools that allows her or him to get the job done. All Waterkeepers have a boat (ranging in size from canoes to research vessels), but sometimes a pair of hip boots is even more important.