Five Disappearing Northern California Rivers

undefinedIt may seem obvious that fish need water, but some government agencies need to be reminded. Every year, excessive agricultural diversions and groundwater over-pumping dry significant stretches of Northern California’s rivers, including areas critical to salmon spawning. This year the drought is set to make matters worse, with the potential survival of an entire season’s run of salmon at stake. In the interest of prompting agency action to recognize imperiled rivers and creeks and restore flows in imminent danger of disappearing, our flows coalition identified five disappearing rivers: Scott River, Shasta River, Mattole River, Eel River (Upper Main), and Russian River tributaries (Mark West Creek and Maacama Creek).

Our State and Regional Water Boards have an authority and duty under the Clean Water Act to list rivers and creeks impaired by altered flow on California’s Section 303(d) List of impaired waters. However, after four years of work with local tribes, fishing groups, environmental groups and our Klamath Riverkeeper and Russian Riverkeeper organizations, the Water Boards have failed to list a single river or creek as impaired by flow. But it isn’t too late to get these waterways listed. Support our efforts by attending the North Coast Water Board hearings on April 8th (Santa Rosa) and April 9th (Redding) and by clicking here to tell the Board that fish need water to swim.

Get more information on the Five Disappearing Rivers here.

View our press statement here.

Assert Your RIght to Swimmable Trash-Free Waterways

Tell the State Water Board you have a right to swimmable trash-free waterways by submitting this letter.  California is renowned for its beaches and diverse water recreational opportunities.  Over 50 million beachgoers visit California’s beaches and waterways annually. However, popular beaches and waterholes translate into an influx of litter, adding to the already alarming rate of trash accumulating in California’s waters and on its beaches. During last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day, Californians removed more than 500,000 pounds of trash from the state’s coastline. Once in the water, trash breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, polluting the water and harming marine animals that mistake it for food. 

To date, California has no statewide guidance on how local governments should reduce the amount of trash flowing into its waters. To address this critical need, CCKA has been serving on a public advisory group to inform the State Water Board’s development of a statewide trash policy. The trash policy is expected to declare a goal of no trash present in the state’s ocean waters and enclosed bays, estuaries or inland surface waters. Local governments will choose from a variety of strategies to comply with the policy, including trash-catching devices on storm drains, street sweeping, education and local bans on items like single-use bags and polystyrene food containers. The policy is expected to be shared with the public by mid-April, and will likely be adopted this summer. Show your support for a strong trash policy by clicking here and requesting the State Board require a clear, straightforward path for municipalities to stop discharging trash into California’s waterways.  

Questions about the statewide Trash Policy? Read CCKA’s quick overview.

Learn more.

View Archive

Spotlight On

  • LA Waterkeeper Fighting Pollution Rain or Shine

    Our LA Waterkeeper's Stormwater Assessment Team (SWAT) has recently been profiled on the front page of the LA Times! SWAT's inspectors collect samples during rainstorms and have them analyzed in an effort to hold polluters accountable. Click here to read more about the important work LA Waterkeeper does to address stormwater runoff contamination and hold polluters accountable. 

    Learn more.

  • Great Russian River Race

    Russian Riverkeeper has opened registration for the 2014 Great Russian River Race: Drought Edition! The 4th annual event will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, and is sure to sell out fast. Click here to join us on May 3rd to celebrate the Russian River and support our Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect the watershed. 

    Learn more.

  • Wishtoyo Foundation Continues Vital Cultural Legacy

    Congrats to the Wishtoyo Foundation and our Ventura Coastkeeper, whose work on the Chumash Discovery Village in Malibu California brings an important perspective to the cultural and historical legacy of our coast. Wishtoyo’s efforts highlight just how deep California’s connections with the coast run, and demonstrates what it means to be a true steward of the environment.

    Learn more.