In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference.

Their mission was to "bear witness" to U.S. underground nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world's most earthquake-prone regions.

Amchitka was the last refuge for 3,000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other wildlife.

Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest.

The U.S. still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

Today, Greenpeace is an international organization that prioritizes global environmental campaigns. Learn more about the issues we work on in the U.S.

Our global headquarters are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We have 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and national as well as regional offices in 41 countries.

The Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior

On July 10, 1985, an explosion aboard the Rainbow Warrior sank the ship, our hearts, and left one man dead. But out of this tragedy eventually came triumph, and an end to nuclear testing. Twenty years later, we invite you to look back at the legacy of the Rainbow Warrior,and learn how a sinking ship set course to change the world. Read more

Music and Greenpeace

When rock music came to prominence in the 60s, it was accompanied by a strong sense of optimism, a belief that rock-n-roll could change the world. This same belief in the ability of a small group of dedicated, creative, and passionate people to make the world a better place has always driven Greenpeace. Read more

Amchitka: the founding voyage

Bob Hunter sailed aboard the first Greenpeace voyage in 1971 to Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands to try and stop a U.S. nuclear weapons test. When they were halfway to their destination, Richard Nixon announced a month's delay of the test. Most of the crew were running out of money or vacation time, and an acrimonious debate broke out about whether to continue or turn back. This is Bob's story about what happened. Read more

The Founders

There's an old joke that in any bar in Vancouver Canada you can sit down next to someone who claims to have founded Greenpeace. In fact, there was no single founder, and the name, idea, spirit, tactics, and internationalism of the organization all can be said to have separate lineages. Read more