The lower American River is the crown jewel in the Sacramento region’s rich legacy of environmental stewardship. Nearly five million people flock to the spectacular river parkway each year to enjoy its unique ecological resources and recreational opportunities.
With 43 species of fish, including endangered steelhead trout and struggling Chinook salmon, the river also provides important habitat for the anadromous fisheries of the Sacramento River Basin. It is also home to a rich diversity of wildlife and waterfowl. These natural attributes have made the lower American River the only urban waterway to be designated a “Wild and Scenic River” by state and federal governments.
Beyond its ecological values, the river system also provides critical water supply and flood protection for Sacramento-area communities. And as the second largest tributary to the Sacramento River, the American River makes key contributions to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides drinking water to two-thirds of the state and irrigation to half of California’s farming industry.
Through the Habitat Management Element of the Water Forum Agreement, the Water Forum serves as a leader in the protection and enhancement of the lower American River ecosystem and its salmonid species. Read more about the Water Forum’s projects and programs that protect and restore the lower American River here.