Friends of the Earth is proud to announce the completion of a merger with Bluewater Network. The merger of two of the country’s most innovative and effective environmental organizations will create a more powerful voice for the protection of the earth’s peoples and the planet.
“This merger will greatly strengthen our ability to pursue environmental solutions that make sense for families, the economy, and national security,” said Dr. Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth. “Bluewater Network has a great track record of winning precedent-setting victories for the environment in California and across the country, and we are excited about working with such a creative group of people.”
“Global social and environmental challenges have never been greater,” said Dr. Russell Long, the founder of Bluewater Network. “Friends of the Earth is part of a worldwide network with affiliates in 70 countries, and the merger will allow us to be more effective at achieving our goals, both within the United States and in the world community.”
Since it began in 1996, Bluewater Network has been a leader in efforts to reduce environmental harm from vessels, vehicles, and craft. Last year, Bluewater crafted and won approval of California’s historic law curbing greenhouse gas emissions - a law which has already been copied by seven other states and Canada, and convinced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise overstated fuel mileage labels on new cars. Bluewater’s other campaign efforts include successes banning jetski use in most of the nation’s national parks, cleaning up pollution from cruise ships and commercial vessels, and leading the effort to introduce biofuels into the nation’s fuel supplies in order to combat global warming.
Friends of the Earth, which was launched in 1969, has built a solid reputation as a tough, innovative organization that takes on fights that other groups shy away from. Among Friends of the Earth’s cutting edge current projects are a recent Washington, D.C. law banning the transportation of hazardous rail cargoes (like chlorine gas) through the city, a national campaign to get dangerous chemicals out of cosmetics, and the exposure of fake press releases from the Department of the Interior. FOE’s “Green Scissors” program has helped federal, state, and local governments save more than $25 billion on projects that were polluting the air, land, and water.
“We anticipate many exciting results from this merger,” Blackwelder said. “For example, Friends of the Earth’s lobbying expertise and ability to work on international standards and treaties will aid many Bluewater programs, while Bluewater’s strategic campaigns that reduce pollution from transportation sources will boost Friends of the Earth’s efforts to reverse global warming and protect our oceans.”
Three members of the Bluewater Network board will be joining the FOE Board: Whitey Bluestein, Garrett Loube, and Russell Long. Long will take on the role of Vice President for Friends of the Earth. Bluewater Network will continue to operate from its San Francisco offices as a division of Friends of the Earth.