As we think of how we need to change the way we live, we have to remember that the air we breathe, the water we drink and even the news we rely on to govern our communities are not private objects.  In fact, our laws protect them as much too valuable to allow them to be expropriated as the private property of others.

Even while we have to use them today, we have to make sure that some especially valuable things will be there for future generations. From the beginning of western civilization, we have had a legal tradition called the public trust doctrine.

The Public Trust Alliance defends public rights protected by this legal framework. We use its adaptive features to help our society be more responsible resource stewards and help all of us think more clearly about the long term impacts of our everyday activities.

We make the public trust doctrine a proactive tool in natural resource management by working with communities to effectively assert this right and with public agencies to follow their role as trustee and protector of the environment.

Through education and advocacy we encourage more ecologically sustainable and socially just practices.


The Public Trust Alliance defends natural resources via long-term commitments to larger projects as well as providing immediate assistance & information to community groups at various stages of their advocacy:

Central Coast – Monterey Peninsula.

We are developing and implementing infrastructure for an alternative, regional water supply to stop dewatering regional rivers & streams. We intervened in a State Water Board enforcement proceeding that resulted in a Cease & Desist order against Cal-American Water Company’s illegal diversions of the Carmel River. We now are asserting…...[More]...

South Coast—San Diego.

Cruise Ship homeporting threatens a publicly accessible North Embarcadero. Urging shipping uses be developed in the existing marine terminal, we are defending public parks, set aside as mitigation for previous projects ...[More]...

San Francisco Bay Area.

Previously we waged an environmental justice campaign with local Richmond activists and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water to preserve Breuner Marsh & surrounding shoreline and creeks in the Richmond area. We are collaborating ...[More]...

North Coast Stream Flow Coalition.

The Public Trust Alliance is a founding supporter of the recently formed NCSFC. Our goal is nothing less than preventing private interests from dewatering North Coast waterways, which has been assisted by lax enforcement of public trust rights. ...[More]...

Northern Cal-Shasta Lake.

We are working alongside the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water to protect sacred sites and improve water justice by supporting local communities most impacted by water policies as land uses change and water resources are developed…...[More]...