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.
The founders of Greenpeace believed a few individuals could make a difference. Their mission was to "bear witness" to the USA's underground nuclear testing at Amchitka in one of the world's most earthquake-prone regions.
A tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles,peregrine falcons and other wildlife.
Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before she got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest. The US still detonated their 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 a global organisation that gives priority to campaigns that can be addressed on a global scale. Based in Amsterdam,Greenpeace has 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and national / regional offices in 41 countries.
You can find out more about our history, at our 30th Anniversary page.
If you want to read more, there are several good books about Greenpeace: "The Warriors of the Rainbow" byRobert Hunter, "Journey into the Bomb" by David Mc.Taggart, and "The Greenpeace Story" by John May and Michael Brown. They can often be found at used book and auction sites such as Ebay , Amazon and Powells.