Proposition 68 – the Clean Water and Safe Parks Act on the June 5 statewide ballot – allocates $10 million for the Lower American River, its tributaries and the Parkway.
Proposition 68 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bands that invest in coming years to address some of California’s most important water, park and natural resources needs.
Save the American River Association worked with a coalition of organizations, including the California Chamber of Commerce, to develop the Act. It had strong bipartisan support as it went through the Legislature and was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Most lawmakers recognized that California faces growing challenges to our water supplies and natural resources. A changing climate has put our water supplies more and more in jeopardy as we face increasingly intense wildfires, droughts and floods. Much of the state’s aging water infrastructure is in poor repair and there have been limited expenditures in recent years to maintain parks and restore natural resources.
SARA 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.
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.
Save the American River Association
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 2008. Our mission is to protect and enhance the wildlife habitat, fishery, and recreational resources of the American River Parkway. Our volunteer, non-profit group of members and Board of Directors work to ensure that the American River Parkway will survive and prosper for the benefit of future generations.
Current Issues and Activities
- Illegal Camping in the American River Parkway
- Folsom’s proposal for a River District Master Plan
- Why expand Sutter's Landing Park? A video by George Nyberg
- Lower American River Conservancy Program
- Large Concert Events in Discovery Park
- Off-paved Trail Cycling Pilot
- Save Hinkle Creek Nature Area
- Lake Natoma Waterfront and Trail Access Enhancement Project
- SAFCA's Proposed Levee Improvement Assessment
- McKinley Village Project
- Joint Operations Center
- Unsafe levels of E.coli bacteria have been found in Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake and the Lower American River
- Bureau of Reclamation should prioritize protection and propagation of Chinook salmon and steelhead (April 3, 2019)
- California Water News - Department of Water Resources
The water committee continues to meet with the Water Forum regarding outstanding technical issues on the latest proposed flow management standard. At the same time, SARA is still fighting efforts by water districts in the Sierra Nevada foothills to divert American River water and sell it to purveyors outside of the region. Enough water in the river is no help if the water is polluted. We have ongoing battles with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board over the issuing of sewer discharge permits that violate state and federal law.
SARA continues to work with allied organizations to institute reforms in the way California's water is managed. The ongoing drought has focused attention on the unregulated use of ground water and reservoirs and the historical practice of allocating water that does not exist. We are engaged in raising serious objections to the proposed Delta tunnels as a water management strategy for California's future. LEARN MORE.
Related Environmental Issues
In the News
The Sacramento Bee - May 28, 2020
American River in Sacramento still tainted with feces, despite new parkway bathrooms
By Ryan Sabalow and Theresa Clift
Fish Sniffer - January 13, 2020
Salmon Advocates Respond to Reclamation Plan to Cut Flows on American River
By Dan Bacher
The Sacramento Bee - September 12, 2019
‘What diluted sewage looks like.’ American River in Sacramento tainted with feces
By Ryan Sabalow and Vincent Moleski
Style Magazine - June 2019
Save the American River Association - Preserving the Parkway
By Sharon Penny
Daily Kos - April 3, 2019
Scientist urges Reclamation to reduce pre-spawning salmon mortality on American River this year
By Dan Bacher
Sacramento News & Review - January 23, 2019
Clear-cutting Sacramento’s crown jewel
By Stephen Green
The Sacramento Bee - June 18, 2018
They are building 11,000 new homes in Folsom. But will there be enough water?
The Sacramento Bee - April 18, 2018
Filth at popular beach exceeds regulatory standard, raises health risks for swimmers
By Ed Fletcher
The Sacramento Bee - October 11, 2017
Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma had high E. coli readings. Should the public be warned?
By Brad Branan
The Sacramento Bee - July 8, 2017
Here's how to save the American River Parkway
By Phil Serna - Sacramento County Supervisor
The Sacramento Bee - June 21, 2017
How Sacramento County supervisors blew it on parkway safety
By Stephen Green - Special to The Bee (SARA President)
Central Valley Business Times - January 30, 2017
Environmental groups assail governor’s Delta tunnels