Mission & Vision

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington’s waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

CELP’s accomplishments are many since its founding by University of Washington Law School Professor Ralph W. Johnson. Professor Johnson recognized that water belongs to all of us, and that the Public Trust Doctrine should be used to protect this precious resource for humans, wildlife, and life itself. True to Professor Johnson’s vision, CELP has protected many of Washington’s rivers and aquifers.

CELP’s vision for the future is that Washington State will have adequate and sustainable water supplies to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife, and robust communities.

CELP works to achieve this through:

  • Hands-on assistance to citizen activists, tribes, and communities working to save their drinking water and rivers
  • Advocacy and legislative reform through:
    • Working in Olympia to improve water management laws and to stop bills that have the potential to harm rivers and aquifers
    • Advocating for science-based water policy with local, state, and federal agencies
    • Collaborating with other stakeholders and agencies to solve water problems
    • Our annual Clean & Abundant Waters Lobby Day
    • Providing comments and sign on to letter regarding important water issues
  • Public education and Outreach
    • Hosting seminars and workshops about current issues in water law and the state of our water resources
    • Creating public campaigns for water conservation and protection of our rivers
    • Raising public awareness about water scarcity issues, including the impacts of climate change, with the goal of moving people to act to protect water resources 
    • Connecting with communities across the state on water issues
    • Sharing water stories and voices for water
  • Litigation to protect the public’s interest in water
    • Bringing targeted litigation to protect the public’s interest in our rivers and aquifers when our advocacy and collaborative efforts fall short
    • Writing amicus briefs and support others in their cases to protect our waters

CELP is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.