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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

100 Youth-Led Water Improvement Projects through the EarthEcho Water Challenge

EarthEcho International (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
    The EarthEcho Water Challenge is a signature program to equip young leaders around the world to become community scientists, testing their local surface water quality, sharing their data through our global database at, and using this data to inform actions to protect local waterways. The Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens in three accessible steps: Test – It all starts by understanding the state of water quality by using a simple test kit or probe Share - Enter water quality data online through an international database allows those upstream and downstream to become part of the solution for clean water and healthy waterways worldwide. Protect – Armed with an understanding of local water health and potential threats, young people use the information to take action and protect the vital water resources in their community Protecting the quality of surface water in our local watersheds is a critical part of ensuring the overall health of the environment and water as an accessible resources for life.
    Expected Impact
    As part of EarthEcho's mission to building a global youth movement to protect and restore our ocean planet, uplifting the work of 100 young leaders to improve their local surface water resources will result in both improved ecosystem health and water quality in the locations where youth projects are implemented. In coastal areas, where EarthEcho has a large following, a reduction in land-based pollution into marine ecosystems would also be anticipated. By activating youth, the EarthEcho Water Challenge builds durability into this initiative through expanded environmental literacy in the general population which provides an added benefit.

    Austin Youth River Watch
    BetterWorld Telecom
    Blue Scholars Initiative
    Bradford Wood
    Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center
    Cape Leopard Trust
    City of Colorado Springs
    Denver Public Works
    EarthWays Center
    Environmental Science Center
    Friends of the Chicago River
    Galveston Bay Foundation
    Girls Scouts of Silver Sage
    Green Vigil
    Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership
    Kaskazi Environmental Alliance
    Kimple Edu
    Love A Sea Turtle
    Loggerhead Marinelife Center
    Louisa County Conservation
    Miami Waterkeeper
    Milwaukee Riverkeeper
    Mote Marine Laboratory
    Mystic Aquarium
    Hudson River Estuary Program
    Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
    NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
    Ocean Conservancy
    Ocean First Institute
    Ocean Institute
    Ocean Steward
    Pacific Marine Research
    Project O.C.E.A.N.
    Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains
    Roanoke Cashie River Center
    Sustainable Ocean Alliance Mexico
    San Juan Bay Estuary Program
    The Sink or Swim Project
    Stroud Water Research Center
    Surfrider Foundation
    Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center
    Tennessee Aquatic Project
    Tinker's Creek Watershed Partners
    Urban Ecology Center
    Vermilion Sea Institute
    Gullah Geechee Nation
    West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative
    Winyah Rivers Alliance
    Xylem Inc
    YES Prep Schools
    Youth Service America

    Additional information

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 14

    Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

    Goal 14


    By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution


    (a) Index of coastal eutrophication; and (b) plastic debris density


    By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans


    Number of countries using ecosystem-based approaches to managing marine areas


    Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

    Average marine acidity (pH) measured at agreed suite of representative sampling stations


    By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

    Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels


    By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information

    Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas


    By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation


    Degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing


    By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism


    Sustainable fisheries as a proportion of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries


    Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries

    Proportion of total research budget allocated to research in the field of marine technology


    Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets


    Degree of application of a legal/regulatory/policy/institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small‐scale fisheries


    Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of "The future we want"


    Number of countries making progress in ratifying, accepting and implementing through legal, policy and institutional frameworks, ocean-related instruments that implement international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources

    Name Description
    14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
    Public event educating 100 school children in NYC on the value of water, access to healthy water, and SDG 6.
    100 youth-led water improvement projects that are community-based
    Staff / Technical expertise
    EarthEcho will provide educational resources like an updated Raincheck Action Guide, virtual events, and the Water Challenge database.
    Other, please specify
    EarthEcho will provide networking for youth to connect to other young leaders and their projects through our new GenSea online community platform
    Staff / Technical expertise
    EarthEcho will provide access to a network of water and conservation professionals through our expansive partnership network and funding partners at Xylem Inc.
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    water logo
    20 January 2023 (start date)
    01 December 2023 (date of completion)
    EarthEcho International
    1. Europe
    2. North America
    3. Latin America and the Caribbean
    Other beneficiaries


    More information
    Ibero-American Network of Life Cycle Assesment
    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information

    Stacey, Chief Program Officer