Friends of the River was founded in 1973 during the struggle to save the Stanislaus River from New Melones Dam. Following that campaign, we grew to become California's statewide river conservation organization.
Friends of the River is dedicated to preserving and restoring California's rivers, streams, and their watersheds as well as advocating for sustainable water management.
Friends of the River is nationally recognized as an authority on the adverse impacts of dams on rivers and ecosystems and is the most effective grassroots organization working on behalf of rivers. We have led successful campaigns for the permanent protection of many outstanding California rivers and streams - including the Kings, Kern, Merced, Tuolumne, upper Klamath, West Walker, East Carson, Sisquoc, and Big Sur Rivers, as well as Sespe Creek and Cache Creek. Friends of the River has 3,500 members, 10 staff, and a 12 member Board of Directors.
Friends of the River has helped create many watershed-based citizens' groups, among them Friends of the Trinity River, Friends of the Kern River, the South Yuba River Citizens League, the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust and the Stanislaus River Council. We also coordinate or participate in several major statewide and national campaigns and coalitions, including The American River Coalition, Restore the Delta, The California Hydropower Reform Coalition, Beyond Searsville Dam, and The Environmental Water Caucus.