Protecting the Yuba since our founding


We Advocate for the Yuba

Showing up where it matters

People Can Save A River is SYRCL’s guiding principle. Since our founding, we have defended the Yuba River time and time again. As effective advocates, we know when to mobilize the community for direct action and when to send in diplomats for quiet negotiations.

Perennially Prepared

While the core of SYRCL’s advocacy work is focused on salmon restoration and dam relicensing, we remain vigilant and prepared to anticipate and respond to any future threats such as proposals to reopen mines and build new dams.

Whether it’s through direct action campaigns, negotiation, or litigation, SYRCL’s River Advocacy plan is about uniting the community to protect the Yuba River. 

Government Collaboration

SYRCL staff and volunteers monitor boardrooms and the halls of government, build effective relationships with elected officials and staff, and forge powerful coalitions to ensure that new policies, plans, and proposals consider what’s best for the Yuba River watershed.

We participate as a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance (WKA), helping to keep our waters clean, drinkable, fishable, and swimmable for all. Our status as Yuba River Waterkeeper ensures additional protections and advocacy for the the Yuba River watershed by utilizing resources from the largest coalition of water nonprofit organizations in the country.

Current Causes

Yuba Salmon Now

The Yuba Salmon Now campaign envisions a day when wild salmon swim freely from the summit to the sea―liberated from the threat of extinction and restored to their ecological prominence in our state’s natural heritage―and once again provide jobs, world-renowned fishing, and a source of healthy food.

Through advocacy, science, restoration projects, and education programs, SYRCL leads a comprehensive effort to restore salmon and steelhead in the Yuba River watershed.

Dams & Hydropower

All dams in the Yuba watershed were given a 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the 1960s. Now, those dams are in the relicensing process and SYRCL has unique and substantial opportunities to advocate for river restoration.

These new licenses will provide enhanced stream flows, more natural flow fluctuations, passage of wood and sediment for habitat, and recreational enhancements on sections along the South Yuba River, Middle Yuba River, and Canyon Creek. 

Growing Green

The Yuba River has been designated as a “priority” watershed for cannabis enforcement because it is severely impacted by cannabis cultivation. SYRCL, through Growing Green, tries to address water quality concerns caused by cannabis cultivation in the Yuba River watershed such as sedimentation, pesticide pollution, nutrient run-off, and bacteria, in addition to trespass grows and illegal water diversions.

SYRCL’s vision for Growing Green for the Yuba is to help the community understand how regulation can be a tool that allows agriculture to align with objectives that maintain water quality and promote habitat for fish and wildlife. In partnership with important community cannabis stakeholders, we’re hosting educational and on-farm workshops, promoting Best Management Practices, and participating in additional collaborative leadership, science, stewardship, and education. As a community we can educate each other to ensure cannabis is grown in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.

Idaho-Maryland Mine

SYRCL officially opposes the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland mine due to the significant potential environmental impacts that would occur as a result of the proposed mining operations.

We are concerned that, should the Idaho-Maryland Mine reopen, mining operations would introduce pollution into our waterways, dewater groundwater, and dry up private wells that are already being adversely impacted by long periods of drought. Further, legacy mining impacts include serious health impacts for community members who may be exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.

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People Can Save A River is SYRCL’s guiding principle. All of our advocacy work is best accomplished when we unite as a community. Join us and join the fight.

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