From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the Puget Sound to the Chesapeake Bay, our Great Waters are vital to our nation, driving regional economies and shaping American's daily lives.
However, thus far our nation has not adequately ascribed the proper value to these important ecosystems, and as a result, degraded water quality, invasive species, altered water flows, climate change, and loss of habitat have taken their toll.
Although restoration efforts in many of these regions are making progress, they are hampered by a lack of funding, broken federal water policies, and limited political will.
America's Great Waters Coalition is an alliance of national, regional, state, and local organizations working to protect, preserve, and restore our nation's Great Waters. The coalition is a result of years of work by national and local organizations to bring the broader restoration community together to "raise all boats."
In order to change the status quo, the restoration community has come together with the goal of making the restoration of these national treasures a reality.
A unified restoration community will be better able to leverage existing funding, ensure that it is used efficiently, and advocate for increased future funding.
In addition, a coalition can provide a forum to make sure federal restoration efforts are coordinated and streamlined to achieve the most beneficial environmental benefits.
Perhaps most importantly, a national Great Waters Coalition will not only create a unified national agenda for the benefit of all ecosystems, it will also elevate the profile of each individual ecosystem effort through strategic partnerships where one ecosystem can help another advance its regional priorities in the national political spotlight.
In order to make our vision a reality, the coalition will work over the next three years towards the following overall policy objectives and strategic goals:
The America's Great Waters Coalition is comprised of organizations from across the U.S.
The 17 seats on the America's Great Waters Coalition's Steering Committee represent the diversity of member organizations.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.