The SARA Board of Directors meets every third Tuesday of the month (except for August) at 7 p.m. at the SARA office (8836 Greenback Lane, Suite C Orangevale, CA 95662). August is generally a board vacation month. In December the SARA Annual Meeting (the first Saturday in December) serves as the SARA board meeting. Members and guests are welcome to attend board meetings. Please note, beginning in April 2020 some meetings have been conducted virtually via ZOOM. Contact us to confirm the meeting's location or if you wish to receive an agenda.
Save the American River Association, (SARA) is a grass roots organization established 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.
The American River and Parkway
The American River Parkway is the crown jewel of the Sacramento Regional Parks system that is in the care and custody of Sacramento County. The Parkway is an open space greenbelt on both sides of the American River that extends approximately 29 miles from Folsom Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. The Lower American River is the 23-mile portion of the Parkway located between Nimbus Dam and the confluence of the two Rivers and has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River by both the State of California and the Federal Government.
What We Do
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 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.
See current issues.
American River and Parkway photography by Guy Galante.
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 Land Related Issues
- Illegal Camping in the American River Parkway
- Preserve the former Kassis Property Floodway | Unblock Easements on former Kassis Property
- Poaching on the American River Parkway
- Off-paved Trail Cycling
- 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
- 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
Current Water Related Issues
- Media Alert: Water at Tiscornia Beach in Discovery Park is Contaminated and Unsafe for Swimming (June 12, 2021)
- 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
Elk Grove Daily News - December 29, 2022
Bill Jennings, legendary California fishery and water quality advocate, dies at age 79
By Dan Bacher
Roundhouse News & Review - May 24, 2022
Citizen Science: Tracking E. coli in the American River
By Madalyn Wright
The Sacramento Bee - August 24, 2021
See how draft horses are being used to remove debris from this Sacramento creek
By Sara Nevis
The Sacramento Bee - June 23, 2021
More fires are burning along American River Parkway. How can we save our local treasure?
By Ryan Sabalow, Phillip Reese, and Michael McGough
Sacramento News & Review - January 27, 2021
Rancho Cordova residents rally to save one of the city’s last pieces of open space
By Scott Thomas Anderson
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)