ELI works to identify and promote better tools, management approaches, and governance systems for water resources and ocean management.
ELI's Freshwater & Ocean Programs addresses these issues through five areas of expertise:
- The Ocean Program works to reverse degradation from land-based activities, ensure effective management of industrialized oceans, and foster sustainable fisheries.
- The Water Quality Program seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of the federal Clean Water Act through projects to preserve broad national authority, improve water quality standards, address impaired waters, strengthen permitting programs, and control non-point sources and stormwater.
- The Water Resource Management Program seeks to examine federal, state, and local watershed measures to protect water resources and assure their availability for use while maintaining the ecological and hydrological integrity of water resources. ELI's Western Water Program focuses on the laws governing water use and allocation in the Western United States.
- The Wetlands Program applies the best science and policy tools to support protection of wetlands. In addition, ELI recognizes excellence through the National Wetlands Awards program and maintains the complete archives of the National Wetlands Newsletter (1989-2016).
- The International Water Program works to ensure that international water policies, laws, and institutions are effective and enforceable, include meaningful public involvement mechanisms, and promote adaptive water management.