West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Bob Gallagher, a former attorney living in Shady Side. Along with the members of the Advisory Board, Bob quickly built an organization to support the mission of stopping pollution, enforcing environmental law, promoting restoration, and advocating for better environmental policy.

West/Rhode Riverkeeper now supports a full-time Riverkeeper as well as two part-time support staff. Dozens of volunteers also contribute time and effort to sustain the organization. We work closely with the 18 other Waterkeeper groups in the Chesapeake Bay watershed as a member of Waterkeepers Chesapeake.

We are a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and international movement with nearly 200 membership organizations worldwide.


Today, water resources are declining in quality and quantity in virtually every part of the world: More than a billion people are living without access to safe drinking water; California faces the most serious water emergency in its history; Australia is in the midst of an epic, 12-year-long drought-the first industrialized nation to deal with water scarcity on this scale.

Waterkeeper Alliance provides a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally. The vision of the Waterkeeper movement is for fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide. Our belief is that the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method of grassroots advocacy.

Waterkeeper Alliance aspires to protect every major watershed around the world. We also continue to reach out and collaborate with other leading national and international environmental and public health organizations to serve the needs of our global network.

The growth of the Waterkeeper movement is a testament to the strength of our model.
From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the Amazon to the Ganges, Waterkeeper Alliance has become a powerful voice for the world’s waters.