Securing Clean Water for People and Wildlife

Water is absolutely essential to sustaining people and wildlife.


The National Wildlife Federation is leading national conversations around clean water—from the headwaters to the coasts—through its regional centers and coalitions. This approach has helped the Federation become one of the leading voices in the fight to ensure people and wildlife have access to clean water.

Great Lakes

To restore and protect the Great Lakes, the National Wildlife Federation leads the Healing Our Waters Coalition, working for a sustainable Great Lakes restoration plan and the federal funding to implement it. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has restored more than 167,000 acres of coastal, upland, island and wetland habitat. The Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center also focuses on protecting the world’s largest source of freshwater from invasive species, oil spills and farm-runoff pollution.

The Gulf Coast and Mississippi River

A decade after the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Wildlife Federation published a report—10 Species, 10 Years Later: A Look at Gulf Restoration after the Deepwater Horizon Disaster—highlighting the legacy of the catastrophic spill and regional wildlife and ecosystem recovery. Although species such as the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, coastal bottlenose dolphins, corals and Bryde’s whales have made important progress, the Federation is continuing to work through its South Central Regional Center and programs such as the Mississippi River Delta coalition to leverage disaster-recovery funds to improve the Gulf’s health and resilience.

Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River

Through its leadership of the Choose Clean Water Coalition—more than 250 organizations working to restore the Chesapeake Bay—the National Wildlife Federation helps elevate and empower diverse voices in support of this essential body of water. The Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River watersheds provide clean drinking water to more than 30 million people as well as habitat for hundreds of wildlife species. Working with nature to bolster living shorelines by applying natural coastal resilience techniques such as wetland restoration provides multiple benefits, including healthier fish habitat, reduced farm-runoff pollution and shorelines protected from increasingly strong storms.