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September 5, 2012: Vol. 2, #9

In This Edition
September is Clean-up Month!
California River Awards - Fri, Oct 19 in SF.
Help find Linnea Lomax (Sept 7-9th Sacramento Area search).
FOR Gear
Swap: Sept 8-9, 2012.
Sat, Sept 8th - Support the Delta event in Walnut Grove.
Rio de los Americanos (American River).
Sacramento Valley Red Foxes - help UC Davis conservation efforts!


Sacramento River CleanupSeptember is Clean-up Month!
Johnnie Carlson, Operations Director

Since 1985 from the beaches to the headwaters and on all the lakes and riverbanks in-between Californians having been coming together to clean-up our waterways before the fall rains bring down what is often called the “first flush.”

First organized by the California Coastal Commission, the clean-ups began with about 2,500 volunteers statewide. Today in conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, the event has grown to become one of the world’s largest volunteer events with all 50 states, nearly 70 countries, and more than 358,000 volunteers participating. Last years event in California became the single largest event in the cleanups 22 year history, with volunteers removing just under one million pounds of debris!

JOIN FOR IN SACRAMENTO: FOR participates in the Great American River Clean-up through our adoption of the Sutter's Landing Clean Up on Saturday, Sep. 15, 9 AM-Noon. Friends of the River and Midtown residents in Sacramento will be cleaning up Sutter’s Landing Regional Park on the lower American River. Volunteers should wear long pants, sturdy shoes, and bring garden gloves. We’ll provide trash bags and drinking water. Take 28th Street north from Midtown and meet at where the street dead-ends at the river next to the Skate Park building at 9AM. Children 10 years or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children older than 10 must have a release form signed by a parent or guardian. For more information, call Steve Evans at (916) 708-3155 or email me at

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE OUTSIDE SACRAMENTO? If you are not in the Sacramento area, but still want to participate below are some links form the California Coastal Commission to help you find a beach, creek, or river clean-up near you!

Participating in Coastal Cleanup Day is as easy as 1, 2, 3! For tips for teachers participating with their classes, see our Educator's Guide.

The Coastal Commission is committed to eliminating the waste created at Coastal Cleanup Day. Please join our efforts by bringing your own reusable supplies to the Cleanup. Learn more on our BYO page.

Be part of the solution to marine pollution! Join us on Saturday, September 15, 2012, from 9 a.m. to Noon for the 28th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Click here to learn more.

invite page 1What ARE the California River Awards?
Harriet Moss,
Event Committee Chair & FOR Board Vice-Chair 

Friends of the River’s California River Awards is a gala evening that honors and recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to river conservation, preservation and protection. It’s Friends of the River’s biggest annual party and fundraiser. All monies raised go to support Friends of the River’s river conservation work across the state.

Each year Friends of the River honors an extraordinary person or persons whose efforts recall the spirit that Mark Dubois, Founder and Director Emeritus of Friends of the River, infused into our organization.  Friends of the River’s Mark Dubois Award recognizes those who have taken a leading role in furthering river conservation in California.

Who are the 2012 Mark Dubois awardees?

This year Friends of the River will be honoring George Armstrong and George Wendt, both true pioneers in whitewater rafting and leaders in river conservation.

George Armstrong pictureGeorge Armstrong took his first rafting trip in 1962 and founded his family’s rafting company, All-Outdoors Whitewater Rafting, soon thereafter. All-Outdoors employs 150 trained and dedicated guides who lead trips for rafters of all skill levels, and was selected as one of the "Best of the West" by Sunset Magazine.  A longtime river conservation advocate and a Friends of the River’s Board member in the ‘80’s, George has positioned All-Outdoors as a leader in river protection. All-Outdoors was the first outfitter to work with government agencies and conservation organizations to provide commercial guides and local school teachers with interpretive workshops on the natural and cultural history of California rivers and their watersheds. These workshops are now nationally recognized as a model of on-river outdoor education training.

George WendtGeorge Wendt’s passion for running rivers was born in the 60’s when he became one of the first 1100 people to descend the seldom-traveled Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  In the decades since, his rafting company, O.A.R.S., has been an industry leader in environmentally and culturally responsible travel on over 35 rivers and coastlines worldwide. In 2008 and 2009 the company was recognized by National Geographic Adventure as “The Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth” and George was a recent recipient of the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s Lifetime Achievement award. Over the past four decades, George has donated countless hours and river trips in support of youth, community and conservation causes and his company has introduced more than half a million travelers to the beauty of rivers and the natural world.

To learn more, buy tickets, or sponsor the river party of the year, visit the event home page at: or click on the invite above!

So much to see so little timeFOR Gear Swap: Sept 8-9, 2012
Greg "Big Bird" Gilmore, Gear Committee

Who wants to have a little fun & help support FOR. We are having the FOR GEAR SWAP on Sept. 8 & 9. We need y'all to come out with your old gear or you could even volunteer. Please email me - or If you can volunteer or just come out and shop, it is a great day. For FOR's and the Festival volunteers there usually a free dinner Friday night at the River Store.

So come on up next weekend - sell or buy some gear and volunteer!!!

Hope to see you.
River luv, - g

Volunteer shifts at the Gear Swap: Saturday, Sept. 8: 8 am – 5 pm and Sunday, Sept. 9     8 am – 1 pm. Volunteers please indicate if you can volunteer in the Morning or Afternoon Shift.

NOTE: We are also looking for volunteers to collect gear on a case-by-case basis (we don't want to fill your garage) that has been donated to FOR and bring it up to the swap.  If you live outside Sacramento and have a bit of room to store some gear we’d like to connect you to folks  for gear that FOR gets to keep 100% of the proceeds of.  If you may be able to help collect donated gear email .

FOR Gear Swap Page (details on how to sell and what to do)

Festival Link:

American River ParkwayRio de los Americanos (American River)
Elizabeth Rocke, FOR Legal Secretary

I have a fascination for rivers, creeks, and streams. The ocean is too vast, and surging. Lakes and ponds are too still. I acknowledge their usefulness in the scheme of things, but I do not revel in them as I do rivers. Rivers though, and their smaller cousins the creeks, they fascinate me. I love to walk along their banks or sit on a log beside the river watching an egret hunting or a hawk soaring.

Rivers satisfy more than my esthetic needs. As they traverse the land, they bring life to all inhabitants. Here in California you can tell where a river is by the line of green that skirts it, especially in the summer when everything else is brown and sere. An image in the Bible vividly portrays this. ’He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season' 

Such a river is the American. Its watershed drains a large part of the central Sierra Nevada and thus provides wood, water, food for the wild animals and for humans. In the water parched West it is truly a river of life. 

For me it is more personal than that. As I stroll or pant along the American River Parkway there are trees in abundance, river birds’ songs, the coolness of water and woodland, and after the water spills out over its banks, the acrid smell of mud and of rotting vegetation. Not that the overflow lasts for long. All too soon the rains stop, the hills turn brown, and sandbars protrude from the river. Though it does not obtain the noble girth of the Sacramento into which it flows, still its lower length is a substantial enough river.

Substantial enough to shelter the first inland empire in California: New Helvetia. John Sutter, that visionary and rascal, came to the Rio de los Americanos and built a fort. However, its upper reaches are the real womb of California.  Here it has not the flow of its lower reaches, where a boat could dock, but it is a full enough stream.

MFAmericanRiversevansIn the valley where James Marshall discovered that most precious of all the ores it shows a more boisterous aspect. Along with the ubiquitous oaks, pines cluster close to the shore, and rocks break the smooth flow of the water into gurgles and chuckles and roars. One should not, they say, give human voices to an inanimate object and yet this is what I hear.  Also irresistible is to imagine the town of Coloma, and the gold miners that thronged its banks, each one staking out an area in which to work.

Still further up in the valley girdling mountains, the waters of the streams that feed the American gurgle and chuckle and fall among the rocks that are the backbone and bare ribs of the land. There, depending on the elevation, the drops of water that form these streams hurl themselves among aspen, birch and poplar. When there are clouds in the skies, it transforms these woods into dappled shades and shadows.

These heights take an adventuresome spirit and endurance.  Now, as before, they render up gold.  Now the gold is in the experience.  Then it was real gold.  I think that I can still hear the grunts and cries of those men who crossed the plains and labored along the banks of these streams to wrest flakes and nuggets from these waters. Then they would hike back down to the lower reaches, along which I stroll, for a day in the fleshpots of Sacramento. Such is, or was, the life of the “Rio de los Americanos.” The American.
capra coloma snow



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Save A River - Use A Pool/Spa Cover

 If you have a pool (or spa), keep a cover on it when not in use. This will prevent evaporation and keep your pool cleaner. Covering your pool can save up to 250 gallons a week plus the cost that chemicals would have been to clean it more frequently, and there will less debris blown or dropped in so you will spend less time cleaning out your pool too.

Learn more about the 50 Ways to Save Your River on our website!




Don't drive the wreck INTO the River - donate it TO the River!

Friends of the River now accepts donations of cars, boats, trucks, jet skis and more! In a cooperative effort between Donation Line and FOR your vehicle can be donated to help save our rivers! You must have a clean title. Free Towing & No Hassles. Pick up ASAP.

Call 1-877-227-7487 extension 2811





Support Rivers by Giving at Work! To find out more email us at:

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Help find Linnea Lomax (Sept 7th-9th Sacramento Area search)
Emma Lomax, Special to the River Advocate

Wonderful Volunteers! Have you signed up for next weekend's search yet? Klaas KIDS is coming back and they have more search assignments for us. In addition to the remaining 30 grid searches that need to be finished, we want to make sure that fliers are still posted in and around the area where Linnea disappeared. So, even if you can't hike through the brush and briars, we still have jobs that will allow you to Help Find Linnea. Searches will be conducted Friday through Sunday Sept. 7th-9th. You are welcome to come down to 2440 Glendale Lane, Sacramento anytime between 7 AM and 5 PM but if you would sign up on Volunteer Spot to let us know the approximate time you will be arriving, it will help us plan our searches and your food.

You must be 18 to search, though we may have some administrative tasks for 16-17 year olds. We suggest wearing long pants and long sleeves. Even though the weather will likely be quite warm, the brush and berry bushes are thick and prickley.

Please bring: Your photo ID Gear appropriate for the weather, such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses etc. It is also a good idea to bring work or garden gloves, walking sticks, a small backpack for water bottles and supplies, and gaiters if you have them. There are a lot of yellow jackets out at this time of year, so if you are allergic, bring your epipen.

If you cannot come search, but would still like to help, there are a few places on Volunteer Spot that you can use to sign up to bring snacks and drinks for the search crews. Thank you all for your hard work. Your dedication has carried us far. We found Linnea's notebook last search. With your help, maybe this weekend we will find more puzzle pieces that, in the end, will Help Find Linnea! The Lomaxes and the Help Find Linnea team

For more information visit the Help Find Linnea website at:


Delta RallyJoin Restore the Delta for a fundraiser to support their work – this weekend Sept 8th in Walnut Grove
Barbara Barrigan-Parrillia, Special to the River Advocate

Restore the Delta is a grassroots campaign committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta - a coalition of Delta residents, business leaders, civic organizations, community groups, faith-based communities, union locals, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists - seeks to strengthen the health of the estuary and the well-being of Delta communities. Restore the Delta (RTD) works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

This weekend RTD will host a fundraiser at the Grand Island Mansion, individual tickets start at $80.

For reservations, you can register and buy tickets by clicking on the link below:

Or call Jessica at (209) 475-9550 or mail check and form found here to: Restore the Delta, 10100 Trinity Parkway, Suite 120, Stockton, CA  95219.

If you are unable to attend or cannot donate at a sponsor level but would still like to contribute to Restore the Delta click here and add a note that your donation is part of the Grand Food & Wine Classique Fundraiser.


Red Fox#1 Ben SacksSacramento Valley Red Foxes - help UC Davis conservation efforts!
Amy Brasch, Special to the River Advocate

Red foxes in the Sacramento Valley were long thought to be non-native. However, in 2005 genetic analyses performed in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s (SVM), Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) revealed these foxes to be native to the region and potentially in decline. These discoveries set off a joint effort by UC Davis and the California Department of Fish and Game to characterize the fox’s range extent, and potential interbreeding with non-native red fox populations to the south. Led by Dr. Ben Sacks, Assistant Adjunct Professor in the SVM and director of the Canid Diversity and Conservation Unit of the VGL, this project relied on citizen science, the centerpiece of which was an online reporting system for the public to communicate red fox sightings. During 2007-2009, over 400 reports were submitted by the public, which were instrumental in locating a total of 51 fox dens mapped throughout the Sacramento Valley and, ultimately, in advancing their conservation priority, currently under consideration as a California Mammal Species of Special Concern.

Now, the citizen science that was central to the 2007-2009 red fox study is itself the topic of a Masters project being conducted by Amy Brasch, a UC Davis alumna, in collaboration with her advisor, Dr. Heiko Wittmer, a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand with an adjunct affiliation in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, and Dr. Sacks. Their project seeks to better understand factors affecting public participation to more effectively utilize citizen science in future research and to seek ways to increase the educational value of participation for members of the public. To accomplish this, Ms. Brasch designed a web-based survey that she is asking the public to visit. It is linked to the original survey website, and can be completed in 5 minutes.

Red Fox #2 Ben SacksThe findings of this study will be used immediately to enhance the reporting web site, which will be re-launched for phase II of the Sacramento Valley red fox study, slated to begin January 2013 and extend over through 2016. This next phase, which will focus on better understanding the habitat needs and current abundance of the Sacramento Valley red fox, represents a continuation in the collaborative effort among UC Davis, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Contact: Amy Brasch, B.S. Email:

For Further Media Information Contact:
Dr. Heiko Wittmer, Email:
Dr. Ben Sacks, Email:


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