Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 

To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of water watchdog Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will present the keynote address at the 20th Annual Blue Water Ball fundraiser, Saturday, March 14, at Deckers’ Headquarters in Goleta.

As the founder and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, Kennedy played a pivotal role in the creation of Channelkeeper and hundreds of other Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. Kennedy, who spoke at Channelkeeper’s inaugural Blue Water Ball in 2000, is being welcomed back to honor its 20 years of achievements for clean water on the South Coast.

In addition to serving as president of Waterkeeper Alliance, Kennedy, is chairman of the board and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense.

He previously was chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic.

Earlier in his career, Kennedy served as assistant district attorney in New York City. He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply.

The New York City watershed agreement, which Kennedy negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development.

Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes for the Planet for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River, which spawned the establishment of 350 other Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.

Each year the Blue Water Ball helps Channelkeeper raise critical funds to fulfill its mission to protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds through science-based advocacy, education, field work, and enforcement.

The event brings together more than 250 community members who care deeply about the Santa Barbara Channel for an evening of celebration with fine local wines and beer, a gourmet dinner, live music, dancing, an update from Channelkeeper’s executive director Kira Redmond, and entertainment by emcee Andrew Firestone.

An array of silent auction items will be on offer, including local food and wine, art, jewelry, vacation and adventure experiences, and merchandise from businesses from across the South Coast.

To learn more about the event, purchasing tickets, or becoming a sponsor, auction or wine donor, visit For more about Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, visit