The Ocean River Institute operates based on the belief that many environmental issues can be addressed best by people taking action in their own communities and regions, not by national or international entities. In this respect, ORI’s work is grounded in the principle of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is “an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.” ORI supports the efforts of localized and small-scale environmental organizations by providing expertise, services, resources, and information that are needed by those organizations, but which are not available at the small or local scale. We call this approach environmental subsidiarity.