About Us

Dedicated to fight for clean water.

Fighting for Clean Water

Protecting and preserving the Tennessee River Basin

Tennessee Riverkeeper monitors polluters and their pollution permits, responds to citizen complaints, and utilizes other methods to further protect the Tennessee River and its tributaries. When the organization discovers illegal pollution, we will seek enforcement of environmental laws.

I see an America whose rivers and valleys and lakes hills and streams and plains the mountains over our land and nature’s wealth deep under the earth are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people. – Franklin D. Roosevelt


Our Mission

The mission of Tennessee Riverkeeper is to protect the Tennessee River and its tributaries by enforcing environmental laws and educating the public. The communities of the Tennessee Valley are all interconnected neighbors upstream and downstream and everyone needs clean water, whether you’re black or white, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat. We advocate for the watershed to ensure that future generations will inherit safe, clean water in their communities.


Our History

Tennessee Riverkeeper was founded in 2009 by David Whiteside and Mark Martin.


History of the First Riverkeeper

The first Riverkeeper patrol boat was launched by military veterans and fishermen who mobilized in 1966 to challenge polluters on the Hudson River. That Riverkeeper’s contribution to the Hudson’s amazing recovery has inspired the growth to nearly 200 autonomous “Waterkeeper” organizations across the world. Waterkeepers (including Alabama’s Tennessee Riverkeeper, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba Riverkeeper,Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, Hurricane Creekkeeper & Mobile Baykeeper) patrol waterways, respond to citizen complaints, and enforce environmental laws.

Waterkeeper Alliance was founded in 1999 to connect and support local Waterkeeper organizations, each of which is an independent organization protecting its waterway and community. Waterkeeper Alliance offers legal, scientific, and capacity-building advice, provides networking opportunities, and often advocates for issues common to multiple local Waterkeepers.

View Waterkeeper programs worldwide.

Copyright, 2016. All Rights Reserved by Tennessee Riverkeeper.