The Water Forum received an Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), in recognition of their years of salmonid habitat restoration work on the lower American River.
Yearly gravel restoration projects carried out by the Water Forum create essential spawning and rearing habitat for endangered Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout. Central Valley dams have critically reduced much of their habitat and prevented their spawning gravel from moving downstream. These fish need fist size gravel to create their nests, called redds, to spawn. When flows in the river rise, so does the energy of the river which washes these rocks further downstream. Without these restoration projects, new fist-sized rocks would not be replenished near the top of the dam, where the best habitat is located. It is important that the Water Forum and our partners continue replacing these rocks so the fish can thrive.
This Award celebrates Sacramento region’s outstanding environmental successes and recognizes the individuals and organizations who spearheaded them. Since its formation in 1971, ECOS has convened Sacramento’s environmental leaders to create a visionary forum and an action-oriented coalition for the region. This year marked the 45th Environmentalist of the Year awards ceremony hosted by ECOS. ECOS is also a signatory on the landmark Water Forum Agreement, which was signed in 2000.
Over the past 9 years, the Water Forum has designed and built over 30 acres of salmonid habitat along the lower American River. They have accomplished this through a collaborative process engaging stakeholders and scientists and partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Sacramento County Parks.
The Water Forum is anticipating construction throughout the river. The NEPA document is located here.