Wilkinson, President of Earth Island Institute, and Russell Long,
Director of Earth Island’s Bluewater Network (BWN) announced on
February 4, 2001 that BWN will become independent of Earth Island
Institute effective April 15, 2002 after some six years as a project of
the parent organization.
“Earth Island Institute is an innovative organizational home for many environmental initiatives,” said Wilkinson. “While many of our projects have found a long-term home in our network, we have regularly supported those projects that have chosen to set off on their own. We are proud of the considerable accomplishments and growing leadership of Bluewater Network in so many areas relating to mobile source pollution.”
A new California nonprofit, public benefit corporation, Bluewater Network was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) in 2001 and will assume the work of the existing Bluewater Network project. Project Founder Russell Long will serve as Executive Director of the new Bluewater Network organization.
Since Earth Island’s founding in 1982, some 60 projects have called Earth Island home, and among the notable projects that have gone on to independence are Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers Network, Northern Appalachian Restoration Project, Urban Habitat Program and the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
“Earth Island’s support for Bluewater Network’s work has been very helpful. Earth Island’s founder, the late David Brower, in particular, made efforts to work directly with Bluewater staff to help raise the profile of the project shortly after I had started it. Many other people within the Earth Island activist community provided advice and guidance over the past six years, which has been a real benefit to us,” said Long.
During that time, Bluewater has grown into a national organization with membership in four countries and all 50 states. In six years, Bluewater Network has led the successful effort to ban two-stroke marine engines, rid almost all US National Parks of snowmobiles and jetskis, convinced the EPA to regulate air pollution from ships, helped ban the gasoline additive MTBE in California, and led the environmental community in a historic fight to reduce global warming pollution from cars and light trucks. “We believe our work has just begun and we look forward to many more victories,” said Long.
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