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Defense Council


NRDC.orgNRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science, and the support of more than 1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild

places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. Worth Magazine has named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities, and

Charity Navigator has given NRDC four stars (out of a possible four.)


A Message from NRDC's

President  and Executive Director
From NRDC's annual report for 2002, published March 2003

One of the year's biggest environmental stories was one NRDC generated, and it exemplifies our remarkable accomplishments: as we defended our nation's environmental laws against an administration intent on dismantling them, we also went on the offensive, pursuing long-term strategies to protect the wilderness and wildlife we cherish and the environment our children will inherit.

This story dates back to 2001, when the vice president convened a task force to plot the nation's energy future and came up with a plan that calls for more subsidies to polluting industries, more reliance on oil, more nuclear power. NRDC lawyers filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to learn how the task force conducted business, but the administration refused to comply. As the vice president hid behind executive privilege, the press and other groups also called for action. NRDC broke the logjam first: we took our case to court and compelled the government to turn over its records, revealing that industry lobbyists wrote much of the nation's energy plan.

But that's only half the story. To counteract bad ideas you need good ones. Long before this administration took office, NRDC recognized that the nation must determine its energy course safely and soundly. We crafted a plan showing Americans how to shake our oil dependence and strengthen our energy security.

This is NRDC at our best, fighting back yet moving forward, and it is one story among dozens. As we battled rollbacks at the federal level, we gained ground at the state level. Our litigators stopped polluters in Maine, and our policy experts helped pass a clean car law in California. Internationally, we sent a team to Johannesburg to seek concrete commitments to solve global environmental problems. Our BioGems campaign, backed by hundreds of thousands of NRDC supporters, helped secure protections for endangered wild places throughout the Americas. We set in motion the environmental movement's most aggressive program to stop global warming. We developed a farsighted plan to preserve the world's oceans.

In this climate of unprecedented challenges, NRDC has never been stronger. More than an organization of gifted scientists and tough-minded lawyers, we are global thinkers and innovators, policy analysts, legislative experts, and communications strategists. And fueling our efforts are 1 million members and activists. With your involvement, we are defending the environment with passion, protecting wildlife and wild places with determination, and forwarding environmental solutions with creativity. We couldn't do it without you.



                        John H. Adams

Frances G. Beinecke
Executive Director


Mission Statement

The Natural Resources Defense Council's purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.

We work to restore the integrity of the elements that sustain life -- air, land and water -- and to defend endangered natural places.

We seek to establish sustainability and good stewardship of the Earth as central ethical imperatives of human society. NRDC affirms the integral place of human beings in the environment.

We strive to protect nature in ways that advance the long-term welfare of present and future generations.

We work to foster the fundamental right of all people to have a voice in decisions that affect their environment. We seek to break down the pattern of disproportionate environmental burdens borne by people of color and others who face social or economic inequities. Ultimately, NRDC strives to help create a new way of life for humankind, one that can be sustained indefinitely without fouling or depleting the resources that support all life on Earth.


Air/Energy Program focuses on clean air standards, global warming, transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric-industry restructuring.

Health Program works on issues involving safe drinking water, pesticides, industrial chemicals and other environmental health threats (especially to children), and looks for opportunities to reduce the use and release of toxics into the environment.

International Program, often in association with other programs, works on rainforests, biodiversity, habitat preservation, oceans and marine life, nuclear weapons and global warming.

Land Program works to protect the biological, ecological and natural values of our national forests, parks and other public lands, to promote improved management of private forest lands, and to reduce U.S. consumption of products made from wood.

Nuclear Program surveys and analyzes developments on a variety of nuclear weapon issues ranging from keeping track of global arsenals and the status of arms treaties, to the problems of waste and fissile material disposition, security and control.

Urban Program focuses on environmental problems confronting our major urban centers and surrounding areas. Major issues include air and water quality, habitat and open space, garbage and recycling, transportation, water supply, sprawl, and environmental justice.

Water and Coastal Program works to protect and restore the nation's water quality, fish populations, wetlands and oceans and undertakes key regional initiatives in pursuit of these goals in areas such as the Everglades, San Francisco Bay, the San Joaquin River, the Channel Islands and the New York/New Jersey Harbor-Bight.


Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 727-2700
Fax: (212) 727-1773

Our public education staff is located in our New York City office, so please direct inquiries about NRDC's programs and campaigns to our headquarters.


Washington, DC
1200 New York Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005, 202-289-6868

San Francisco, CA
71 Stevenson St., #1825, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-777-0220

Los Angeles, CA
6310 San Vicente Blvd., #250, Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-934-6900

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  

The Wellness Goods Company is a member of NRDC and encourages

you to offer your support by becoming a member. Your support helps NRDC to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things.


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