Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean.

Our strategy for protecting the Columbia includes identifying the problem and protecting the people, fish and wildlife that depend on the Columbia River.


Identify the Problem

Assemble a Team of Citizen Volunteers and Monitor Water Quality

Riverkeeper volunteer training 2010Over 150 trained Columbia Riverkeeper volunteers monitor water quality in key salmon habitats on the Columbia River. Riverkeeper uses this information to help focus our efforts to solve pollution problems.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Monitoring Program


Train Volunteers to Observe and Respond to Problems on the River

Riverkeeper educates and trains volunteers through our Adopt-a-River program. These volunteers adopt sections of the Columbia and tributaries and are invested in protecting and restoring the river. Through this program, Riverkeeper trains volunteers to identify and respond to pollution and habitat threats, and work with Riverkeeper staff to advocate for needed changes.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s Adopt-a-River Program


Protecting the People, Fish, and Wildlife that Rely on the Columbia

Enforcing Laws to Protect the Public’s Right to a Clean Columbia

Riverkeeper uses state and federal laws to protect fishing, swimming, and habitat in the Columbia River Basin. When the government refuses to enforce environmental laws, Riverkeeper believes in citizen enforcement to stop harmful pollution and habitat destruction.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s Clean Water Enforcement actions


Protecting Key Habitats from Shortsighted Development Proposals

ODFWThrough public education, organizing, and advocacy, Riverkeeper works to protect priority habitats in the Columbia River, such as the Columbia River Estuary, from shortsighted development proposals.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s work to protect critical habitat


A Strong Voice for Cleaning Up the Most Contaminated Site in the Western Hemisphere—the Hanford Nuclear Site

A legacy of the Cold War and World War II, the Hanford Nuclear Site is a former military reservation that is highly contaminated with radioactive and toxic waste. For over two decades, Riverkeeper and our predecessor organizations have been leading voices for safe, protective cleanup at Hanford.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s work on Hanford Clean-up Advocacy and Education


Strengthening Laws to Protect Public Health, Salmon, and the River

Current laws have not done enough to prevent severely contaminated fish and degraded habitat in the Columbia River Basin. Riverkeeper advocates for more protective state and federal laws, particularly laws that protect people who eat fish from the Columbia. We also invest significant time in monitoring and stopping special interest efforts to create loopholes in environmental laws like the Clean Water Act.

Learn more about Riverkeeper’s legislative actions to protect the Columbia