Our Work to Protect Water Resources and Wildlife

J Pott

NWF and our partners work in many ways to protect our water resources and the wildlife that depend upon them. 

NWF works to support the Clean Water Act, prevent wetland and stream destruction, address climate change, promote non-structural solutions to flood control, prevent harmful water projects, prevent the spread of harmful invasive species, and to enact new national water planning guidelines.

Learn more about NWF's work on behalf of water and wildlife.

Our water-related work is focused on the following regions:

Our Affiliate Partners

National Wildlife Federation’s affiliate partners greatly enhance our ability to protect wildlife and natural resources. They are autonomous, nonprofit organizations that take the lead in state and local conservation efforts and partner with NWF on a wide variety of national and regional issues—some of which are highlighted here. Find out more about NWF's affiliates and the work they are doing near you.


Changing Course: Why Protecting Floodplains is Good for People and Wildlife
This report covers the importance of protecting and restoring floodplains for the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem. 

Clean Water Grows: Six Successful Cover Crop Outreach Efforts
Cover crops are proving to be a valuable agricultural practice that can significantly reduce pollution flowing into water bodies. 

Honoring the River: How Hardrock Mining Impacts Tribal Communities
This report tells the history of hardrock mining and its effects on tribal lands, and current efforts to minimize the threats of hardrock mining, given that many new mines are being proposed near tribal communities. 

Mascot Madness: How Climate Change is Hurting School Spirit 
Whether a fierce wildcat, a chomping gator, or a fighting duck – mascots are the face of every college athletic program. Unfortunately, many of the plants and animals that inspired our favorite teams’ names and mascots are facing a losing streak. From the Colorado State University Rams to the University of Maryland Terrapins, climate change is quickly becoming the toughest opponent to the long-term survival of wildlife. Climate change impacts like sea level rise, extreme droughts and storms, warming temperatures, and melting snowpack are altering key habitat elements that are critical to survival, putting wildlife at risk.

Restoring a Degraded Gulf of Mexico: Wildlife and Wetlands Three Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster
This report gives a snapshot view of six wildlife species that depend on a healthy Gulf and the coastal wetlands that are critical to the Gulf’s food web and how they are recovering.  

Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World
Climate change is altering habitats migratory birds depend upon. Bird ranges are shifting and populations changing. The timing of migration and breeding are changing, affecting the availability of food needed for migratory birds to raise their young. The very landscapes birds inhabit and upon which they rely are showing the effects of climate-driven changes.

Swimming Upstream: Freshwater Fish in a Warming World
Climate change has begun to threaten our freshwater fish. Warming waters mean lost habitat for cold-water species, the likely encroachment of species typically found in warmer areas, and exacerbation of existing stressors such as habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, and disease. More extreme weather events—especially longer and more intense droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and floods  mean increased likelihood of fish mortality. Shorter winters with less snow and ice cover mean shifts in stream flow and water availability through the spring and summer months, as well as lost opportunities for ice fishing.

Toxic Algae: Coming Soon to a Lake Near You?
The problem of blue-green algae blooms is spreading to waters across the U.S., releasing toxins that threaten the health of people, pets and wildlife. 


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