Our Vision and Mission
River Partners envisions interconnected, thriving floodplains that sustain abundant wildlife, support productive farmland, preserve freshwater resources, enhance surrounding communities, and serve as the first line of ecological defense in a changing climate. Our mission is to bring life back to rivers by creating wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.
River Partners connects a bold vision of bringing life back to rivers with the hard, detailed work of rebuilding wild places, creating homes for wildlife, and improving our landscapes for the benefit of future generations.
Giving New Life to River Landscapes
Two decades ago, a pair of conservation-minded California farmers had a path-breaking realization: farmers and ecologists could work together to regenerate riparian forests.
River Partners pioneered the use of agricultural techniques combined with ecological science to re-introduce critical habitat in California on a scale not undertaken by any other organization. Our practices establish self-sustaining forests from seeds in just three years.
Repairing some of the most threatened ecology in the state creates a lifeline for fragile species, and a valuable flood-control alternative to levees and dams.
Our work allows riparian areas the full breadth of their natural purpose: nurseries for young salmon, rich habitat for birds, mammals and pollinators, a buffer zone for floodwaters, and a place for people to reconnect with the natural world. Our experience in the field and close connections with communities have taught us that restored floodplains can also provide much more.
Proven Solutions: Resilient Ecosystems and Communities
Since 1998, River Partners has channeled $125 million toward restoration of 13,500 acres of river corridors throughout California. Every acre we restore yields many times its cost in broad ecological value:
* River forests lower flood risk to downstream communities by reducing erosion and allowing floodwaters to slow down and spread out.
* Floodwaters sink into the aquifer and contribute to recharge of groundwater.
* Young, growing forests have higher rates of carbon sequestration than mature woodlands, reducing the impact of global warming.
* Riparian forests act as natural pollution filters to improve water quality.
* Reduced agricultural water use conserves freshwater.
* Healthy river ecosystems provide habitat for birds, animals, pollinators and enhance fisheries.
* Open space on public land creates recreational and educational benefits for surrounding communities.
* The majority of our funding is directed to local communities in under-resourced areas, strengthening local economies.
The Time Is Now
Riparian areas have been called California’s rainforests. They are hotspots in a state with greater biodiversity than most other places on Earth. Our river corridors support more endangered and threatened animals than any other habitat in our state. Yet today, just 5% of California’s native floodplains remain. With drought and flooding projected to become more severe, we can expect riparian ecosystems to bear the brunt of climate extremes, endangering people, property and fragile species.
Together with our partners, River Partners has helped California emerge as a world leader in restoration practices that empower communities to regenerate healthy rivers and floodplains. We are now positioned to accelerate the pace of riparian habitat recovery throughout the state.