About The Sacramento River Watershed Project

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission is to help connect people who care about our waterways

 

– Issues:

Environmental Toxins
• Agricultural
• Plastics
• Herbicides

Mismanagement
Extractive Industries
Privatization
Climate Change

 

THE SACRAMENTO RIVER WATERSHED PROJECT:

Preservation Education Regeneration

The Sacramento River Watershed Project is a comprehensive project that was designed and planned as part of our overall environmentally focused and ecologically sustainable mission, strategic plan and objectives.

The Water Protector Tour 2020-2021 (W.P.T. 2020-2021) is a major project under the Sacramento River Watershed Project umbrella and is inextricably linked with our mission and goals. W.P.T. 2020-2021 is a grass roots movement comprised of a coalition of individuals, organizations, members of indigenous communities and decision makers on a local and regional level. All of the participants are and have been committed to protecting the health and security of the Sacramento River basin watershed. This includes the following counties of Siskiyou, Shasta, Plumas, Butte, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento (including the Delta) and the East Bay.

We aim to work in solidarity and move this work forward by building bridges with these diverse groups and communities who have identified regional issues concerning water safety and security and work collaboratively to develop local and statewide strategies to implement innovative solutions.

The Sacramento River is the largest river and watershed system in California. The 27,000–square mile basin drains the eastern slopes of the Coast Range, Mount Shasta, the western slopes of the Southern-most region of the Cascades, and the northern portion of the Sierra Nevada. The Sacramento River carries 31% of the state’s total surface water runoff. Primary tributaries to the Sacramento River are the Pit, Feather, and American Rivers.

The Sacramento River Basin provides drinking water for residents of northern and southern California, supplies farmers with the lifeblood of California’s agricultural industry, and is a vital organ for hundreds of wildlife species, including four separate runs of Chinook salmon. It is also home to more than 2.8 million northern Californians.

Indigenous tribal people have been some of the most affected groups regarding water issues. The Indigenous communities are the first water protectors. They have been on the frontlines of the struggle for justice and the human right to water for centuries. Tribes like the Winnemem Wintu have had their sacred Salmon Run directly threatened to the point of near extinction by the warmer waters of the Sacramento River as a result of the most recent five-year drought and other complications. The threat of the raising of the Shasta Dam, poses an even greater group of issues which would result in the drowning of most of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s last remaining sacred sites and traditional homelands, decimate endangered salmon and violate the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by flooding the McCloud River.

Many other California Tribes face similar fates due to the threats posed by government, corporate privatization, encroachment on aquifers, encroachment on their rivers, lakes and streams by development, pollution of their waterways, bad politics and/or inaction by local and state governments, and more.

State and local jurisdictions’ have responsibility for protection of the health and welfare of citizens, but in many areas regarding this, they have failed miserably. This is not a local land use planning issue. This is an issue of survival of our people and our whole ecosystem.

From the mountains, to the valley, to the small towns and cities, it is the place where we live, work, eat, drink and play. All, or mostly all of the watershed is threatened by a number of issues that are currently harming and/or threatening, and may permanently destroy the sensitive areas involved – from damming of rivers, leaching of heavy metals, the use of pesticides and herbicides, pharmaceuticals, plastics and micro plastics, privatization by corporate entities, mass water bottling operations by global corporations, and mismanagement practices.

Mercury toxicity is another harmful contaminant to the Watershed and arises from erosion and atmospheric dust, but also as a result of old cinnabar ore (mercury sulfide) mines that were used during the time of the gold rush. All of these threats and harms can cause irreparable damage to riparian habitats, aquatic life and domestic supply.

The identified dozen or more issues that affect our water resources also include things that come from our own personal uses and habits. As a result, this led us to think about and provide practical and non-political solutions that anyone can implement, along with being able to provide some “experts” in the areas of those issues, if requested. These identified issues range from environmental toxins like body care products and household cleaners, to hazardous landscaping practices, and outdated herbicides, and pest control, and more. We also research and examine issues like privatization and mismanagement of our natural resources (i.e.; land and water, etc.), the effects of climate change on our environment (locally and globally) whether it be natural cycles or human made, along with other affecting issues. This year alone there was a large decline in the Sierra snowpack which will profoundly affect the majority of California and its access to clean water in general. 

The Sacramento River Watershed Project and Water Protector Tour is a non-hierarchical grassroots movement. There is no one person or organization being paid or glorified to do this work.  We believe that it is necessary for individuals to “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and to stand up and become an active part of creating a new healthy and sustainable paradigm in our region and on planet earth. 

  We offer many simple ways for regular citizens to get involved, whether that be on a personal nature or as a more involved citizen advocate or activist. We always encourage people to do their own due diligence, along with implementing ideas through action, getting their hands dirty (in soil, etc.), informing and encouraging friends to use alternative solutions and available products, attending events, and more. Some of the things we offer are advisorship and consultants who are knowledgeable and experienced regarding individuals or groups pertaining to water-related issues and concerns— everything from water testing and filters, to groundwater regeneration, to Permaculture, and agricultural solutions. We believe in and encourage others to work together with us and become advocates for all of us and our children.

The Four Main Areas of Focus For Our Sacramento River Watershed & Water Protector Tour Project:

1. Preserving the safety and security of water in the Sacramento River Watershed
2. Educating the communities / the general public about water related issues, including environmental toxins, mismanagement and privatization
3. Advocating for the protection and preservation of the Sacramento River Watershed overall and for the future
4. Regenerating the local environment and water table through practices like pollinator gardens, bio remediation, and citizen science water testing


The original Water Protector Tour 2020 project was planned as a year-long series of events, from Mount Shasta down to the Sacramento River Delta Region, focused on water health, safety and security issues in the Sacramento River basin watershed. The planned events ranged from smaller public forums and indoor community roundtables, to large festivals and gatherings. These events were to consist of speakers– local and outside experts, advocates and activists in the environmental field, ecological scientists, etc.), and hands-on workshops, films and live music. The majority of these events were to be live streamed globally on our website and Facebook page at: www.waterprotectortour.org. 

 Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions including “Shelter at Home” orders and other restrictions, our planned public outreach and presence was seriously and strategically altered after its initiation, and forced us to regroup and rethink how to go about continuing the project given the “new rules of non-engagement or limited engagement.”

We determined to move forward on our Sacramento River Watershed Project and the Water Protector Tour no matter what, though a bit more creatively and alternatively. Our outdoor events, are now part of our new and extended Water Protector Tour 2020-2021 strategic plan, and we are also working on other projects as well. Once we can move beyond the limitations of COVID-19, we plan to fully engage in our project as much as possible and according to plan.

From mid-2019 and up to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were moving along according to plan and organized and led a number of events in several communities, including— holding roundtable meetings with several advocates, activists and issue based citizens regarding some highly-controversial and targeted environmental issues affecting their communities (from Mount Shasta down to the Delta Region); held a Rally at the California State Capitol in September 2019, where a number of Indigenous Tribal people attended and performed a ceremonial drum and dance performance, along with groups of other people from diverse backgrounds; held several press conferences to bring attention to what is taking place in the Sacramento River Watershed from Mount Shasta down to the Delta and towards the Bay and intersecting waterways, and to discuss solutions to some of those issues; were involved in the annual “Soil Not Oil” event in the Bay Area, in September 2019, where we spoke about environmental issues and highlighted the Water Protector Tour; participated and spoke at the annual Heirloom Seed Conference in Santa Rosa, CA in October 2019; participated in the Autumn Lights Festival in Oakland, CA in October 2019; participated in the annual Wild & Scenic Festival (the country’s largest environmental film festival) in January 2020, where we tabled, and promoted the W.P.T. 2020, networked with other environmentalists and organizations and agencies, and spoke about issues and solutions to environmental concerns; on World Water Day in March 2020, we held a Skype and Radio Broadcast and Live Streamed call-in show at Nevada County Resilience and Innovation center in Nevada City, CA to highlight the issues surrounding water and the threats and harms to our water systems, and discussed viable solutions to protect and preserve those systems for the long-term. The well-received show also focused on the spiritual and cultural aspects of water. During the day, we held a worldwide prayer and synchronized dance segment, “Dance for Water,” where group participation was encouraged, in order to raise mass consciousness and inter-connectedness about clean water and its essential nature for life on earth; during part of 2019-2020, we also participated in many radio interviews throughout the region.

One of the important and most relevant aspects the Sacramento River Watershed Project is that we continue to gather interested people and groups in the work we are doing and for the planned future events. Several of these interested parties have begun to collaborate with us regarding exploring and implementing progressive ideas and “outside the box” thinking to address the problematic issues, and replace unsafe, greedy, unhealthy and foolhardy practices, with sound, safe and sane solutions that are sustainable.

As we work toward finding and implementing various solutions, including better solutions, to many of the environmental and ecological issues that we all face, we strengthen the bonds of unity
that is so necessary to build better and more sustainable communities, and overall heal and create a better, safer and more viable planet for this and for future generations.

Some other ways we plan to engage the public and concerned citizens are through the following projects:

1) We are in the process of completing our first issue of our Water Protector Magazine, that is focused on the issues and work being done in a number of Northern California counties. It includes solutions to dealing with many of the issues, and features articles by several of our collaborators on the project, as well as innovative projects by others to help mitigate environmental concerns and problems.
2) We will be creating a full schedule of the W.P.T. 2020-2021 events at:  https://waterprotectortour.org/tour/  Some of the dates may have to be rescheduled (due to COVID-19 restrictions/guidelines, but we will let you know).
3) We are in the process of creating the Water Protector Curriculum. This will be an online educational certification program. We will be inviting our coalition partners to review and be a part of this endeavor.
4) We are collaborating with a documentary filmmaker to create a video to identify, and document toxic situations in the Nevada County Area that affects our water.
5) Through a sister project, Alliance For Resilient Communities (ARC), we have developed a Source Directory for our member collaborative organizations as a way to collectively reach the public and specific interested parties regarding the many environmental issues that we deal with. We are offering a free 1- year membership.  See: www.TheSourceDirectory.org 
6) In summation, Water is an issue involving consciousness, values and ethics. This is timely; even the Pope issued a rare and profound Encyclicle several years ago. And, from the excellent book edited by Tara Lohan, Water Consciousness: “The true nature of the water crisis is not that there is too little fresh water on Earth, but that humans fail to respect water as a resource and manage it so that every living being dependent on it has a safe and adequate supply.”

For many years, water has always been looked upon as a public trust, and something that would always be there when you needed or wanted it. If nothing else, the last major drought has changed many people’s minds and beliefs. We no longer can take water for granted, even if we respect curtailing our water use both individually and collectively, our available water supply is dwindling. The climate changes causing droughts, the massive water extractions for commercialized water bottling by global corporations, the massive unrecyclable plastic waste generated from water bottling and other sources, the toxic dumping via fracking and other perpetrations against nature continue to affect this important life resource, to a dangerous degree.

We must change many if not all of our old and usual practices, rather than think we can simply adapt to the serious issues affecting our watershed and our planet and live the way we lived before.

 

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”

For more information about the Sacramento River Watershed Project:

Sacramentoriverwatershedproject.org

 

The Water Protector Tour is produced by Golden Road productions in collaboration with the Alliance for Resilient Communities
www.goldenRoadProductions.com
www.waterprotectortour.org

Preservation | Education | Regeneration

Who We Are

Our Team & Leadership

 

Board of Directors
Michael DiMartino
Bob Saunders

Advisory Board
Tora Rocha. Pollinator Posse
Myles Danforth
Natural Building
Stacy Reuhl Permaculture
Poyom Riles. Sierra Streams
David Howland. Water
Treatment Technician
Kathleen Hallal.
Non Toxic Communities
Rachel Linden
Green Lifestyles
Ali Meders Knight
Indigenous Resource
Stewardship