Our Lives Depend on Healthy Waters

We swim, surf and snorkel in the ocean. We raft and fish on rivers. We boat on lakes. These waters provide us with water to drink and fish to eat. They nourish our minds, bodies and souls.

Wherever water flows on this planet, there is life. Rivers gave birth to human civilizations. Oceans regulate our climate and absorb carbon dioxide. Yet we pump chemicals into our rivers and dump trash into our oceans.

If we want to ensure that future generations can enjoy a vibrant blue planet, we have to take better care of the very source of all life on earth.

  • No water, no life.
    No blue, no green.
    Sylvia Earle, Legendary Ocean Researcher
  • Pacific Environment helped us access new knowledge and skills, giving us a more strategic understanding of how to protect our waters.
    Wu Yunli, Green Stone, Water Protector and Partner in China
  • Melting sea ice in the Arctic is opening up new routes for global ship traffic. We lead a coalition of environmental groups and collaborate with Arctic indigenous leaders to establish new international laws that protect Arctic wildlife from a rapid increase in shipping.
  • We and partners uncovered that Apple’s suppliers in China are illegally dumping hazardous waste into local rivers. Our investigation and direct advocacy to the company forced Apple to take responsibility for its suppliers. The high profile exposé increases accountability pressure on other international companies doing business in China.
  • About 90 percent of all international trade travels by sea. We convened leading campaigners from the United States, Russia, Vietnam, Philippines and Hong Kong to promote stronger regulation of the environmental impacts of rapidly growing ship traffic in Southeast Asia.
  • We joined forces with longtime ally NRDC to challenge the U.S. Navy’s training program that threatens immense harm to dolphins and other marine mammals. A court ruled that a U.S. Agency violated the law when it authorized the Navy to harm nearly 9.6 million marine mammals by killing, injuring, and harassing them during five years’ worth of training.
  • Arctic
  • China
  • Southeast Asia
  • California and Hawai'i
Rivers connect land and ocean life. (Photo: Igor Shpilenok)
Fish is a primary source of protein for millions of people around the Pacific Rim. (Photo: Misha Jones)
We collaborate with local partners to develop community-led solutions to pollution and we lead international coalitions that write strong laws to protect the ocean. (Photo: Pacific Environment)

Mobilizing People to Protect Our Water

Groundwater pollution and overuse by heavy industries and agriculture are leading to water shortages. Millions of people lack access to clean drinking water.

We are a key partner to grassroots leaders who are dedicated to cleaning up our polluted rivers, lakes and seas. We also partner with environmental allies and indigenous leaders to protect sensitive marine waters and wildlife from disruptive, and sometimes deadly, ship traffic.

Healthy Rivers & Lakes

Rivers are a critical source of clean drinking water. We train partners to build sweeping volunteer networks that mobilize local people to patrol rivers and report pollution from factories and mines, so that they can be cleaned up or shut down.

Ocean Trash

The ocean is turning into our trash can. We collaborate with local communities to improve garbage collection and storage to stop the flow of trash into the oceans.

Blue Parks

Pristine ocean areas are disappearing fast. We work in coalition with environmental allies, indigenous leaders, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to protect the Yosemites of our oceans.

Ocean Rules

Ships kill wildlife with ship strikes and disturb migration, breeding and feeding patterns. We work with local and indigenous leaders to steer ships clear of wildlife and stop them from dumping their waste into the ocean.


Local communities and indigenous peoples depend on healthy waters for food, prosperity and cultural sustenance. We partner with local leaders to protect local rivers, coasts and ocean life.

  • The Pacific Ocean covers around 30% of the Earth's surface. It is the largest ocean on Earth. Its name means "peaceful sea."
  • Most of the world’s major cities are located near the banks of rivers.
  • Most of the islands in the world are found in the Pacific Ocean: more than 25,000.
  • The Pacific Ocean basin is home to 75% of volcanoes on earth. They form a ring called the "Ring of Fire."
  • Over 70% of earth's surface is covered in water. Only 3% is fresh, and only a fraction of one percent supports all life on land.