Our Work

Save the American River Association (SARA) is a grass roots non-profit organization founded in 1961 to spearhead the establishment of the American River Parkway — the "crown jewel" of the Sacramento County Park System — and adoption of the American River Parkway Plan 2008SARA is the only local volunteer organization with the primary mission of protecting and, when necessary, fighting for the public interest in land and water issues concerning the Lower American River and the Parkway. Some of our achievements and responsibilities include:

  • Serving as advocate in cases where publicly owned Parkway property or zoning ordinances are threatened by private and commercial interests.
  • Serving as the American River advocate on the Sacramento Water Forum, a diverse group working to ensure a stable water supply through the year 2030, while protecting the resources of the river and the parkway.
  • Providing representation on many local agencies and advisory boards with an interest in the river and its assets.

Serving as plaintiff (with Sacramento County and the Environmental Defense Fund) in a lawsuit against East Bay Municipal District to prevent their taking American River water except under stipulated conditions. The 17-year legal battle resulted in a landmark decision setting minimum flow standards acceptable for fishery and recreational needs.

Learn more about SARA's 2024 priorities as well as specific land-related and water-related issues.

Related Issues

Plastic Bag Ban

In November 2016, SARA supported Proposition 67 to protect California's plastic bag ban. A solid majority of Californians voted 'Yes' on Prop 67 to affirm our plastic bag ban and extend it statewide. Passage of Prop 67 will result in significantly less plastic pollution and waste. Less litter on roads, parks, creeks, and beaches. And a reduced threat to wildlife.

In 2014, SARA was part of a coalition that lobbied the state Legislature to pass a bill to ban wasteful, single-use plastic grocery bags. But plastic bag companies from Texas, South Carolina, and New Jersey are trying to overturn this law. Now it’s up to us to protect California’s plastic bag ban—the first statewide bag ban in the nation—to save our oceans, waterways, marine wildlife, and our neighborhoods from plastic pollution. The coalition still watches for bills that crop up every year in the Legislature to gut CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act.