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2021 was a challenging year for Californians. The climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic hit California hard, and Native communities especially felt the impacts of fires, drought, fisheries crises, and several COVID-19 surges. 
At Save California Salmon it was also a year of resilience, resistance, mutual aid, and growth. Last year we hired ten interns, and a new Co-Director, Sheridan Enomoto who now has a shared leadership role with Co-Director Regina Chichizola. We expanded our work in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Bay Area and now work in several new cities and counties. Early in the year we were able to invite last year’s interns, Carrie Tully, Cody Henrikson, Darcy Evens, and Pua Faleofa to move into permanent staff positions. Later in the year, Danielle Rey Frank and Brook Thompson also joined the team and have been welcomed additions to our growing organization. 
We fought many fights for our rivers and climate. We won some and lost others, but we made sure that reforming California’s racist and antiquated water rights system, and keeping salmon from extinction, were major demands for the state’s drought response. We demanded the state stand up to the agricultural industry in multiple watersheds; include rural Native communities in the 30x30 Climate Plan; commit to anti-racism resolutions; and formally call the wildfires and ongoing drought what we know they are–a result of human-induced climate change. Some of the fights we are carrying over into the new year include; making Land and Water Back efforts a reality, fighting false climate and water solutions; and ensuring there are no major new dams and diversions approved such as the Sites Reservoir and the Delta Tunnel.
There is nothing that we are more proud of than our efforts to reform and reimagine Califiornia’s educational curriculum and environmental movement. In the winter of 2021 we released our “Advocacy and Water Protection in Native California High School Curriculum and Teachers Resource Guide (Water Protection Curriculum), and hosted educators’ training to help educators implement the curriculum in their classrooms. In the spring of 2021 we hosted live lessons on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and Science and Management. In the summer and fall of 2021 we put the curriculum into action outside of the schools through summer school programs, outdoor educational events, youth-led education events and a Love Your River Week of action. We are now hosting in-person and virtual lessons based on the Water Protection Curriculum, and are working on integrating the TEK, Science, and Management series into a curriculum as well.
We also provided critical COVID-19 and climate crisis-related education and direct aid for our communities. We provided masks, PPE, direct aid, and lessons to many schools, communities and Native-led organizations so they could recover, adapt, and re-open safely after COVID-related shut downs and climate-related wildfires. 

In the year ahead we are committed to expanding our work to support our Northern California youth and families; fighting for real water justice and equity in California educational and environmental policy; protecting our water; and bringing our salmon home.



Reforming California Environmental Education and supporting salmon dependent  families


Creating a Going Beyond Land Acknowledgements adult curriculum and best management practices for nonprofits and foundations


Securing decisions to take down the Klamath and Eel River dams and pushing for the removal of, or fish passage for, PG&E dams


Restoring flows to, and protecting carry over storage for critical salmon rivers


Fighting the Sites Reservoir, Delta Tunnel and Shasta Dam raise


Pushing for and supporting cultural and prescribed fire and community fire resilience


Making sure land return and Tribal solutions and management are part of all California climate change plans and budgets


Ensuring all California natural resource agencies have fair and equitable public participation processes.





 The Klamath Dams block 420 miles of habitat and create terrible water quality problems, such as toxic algae and high temperatures. They also prevent high flows needed to flush out algae that spread the fish disease--namely C. shasta, which kills the majority of juvelle salmon during low water years.



Construction of this water storage project in California would permanently alter the McCloud River, a designated California Wild and Scenic River, violate state law, and destroy Native American sacred sites. Because this project would be both economically and environmentally harmful, we ask our members to tell the Bureau of Reclamation to oppose raising Shasta Dam.





The new Sites Reservoir in Northern California would be the size of Manhattan, could store up to 1.5-million acre-feet of water, and make it almost half the size of Shasta Reservoir. The reservoir would be owned by the private entity the Sites Project Authority, which is made up mainly of State Water Project (SWP) water contractors and irrigation districts. The authority is already offering new water rights in watersheds where five times more water is allocated than exists to powerful water districts, like the Metropolitan Water District. 



The current project would siphon water from the Sacramento River before it passes through the Delta, wreaking ecological and economic havoc. The project could significantly decrease the fresh water flowing through the Delta, harming farming communities, native fish, and the ecosystem's overall health.

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Additional water flows need to be allocated for maintaining sediment movement, water quality, and environmental cues for fish migration and reproduction. Currently, low water levels lead to warm water which causes the spreading of disease and low dissolved oxygen levels, killing salmon.



The Eel River is the third largest salmon-bearing river in California and once hosted up to 800,000 salmon a year, which supported the commercial fishing industry and Tribal subsistence fishing for the Wiyot, Round Valley, Bear River, Sherwood Valley, and other Tribes. Now fish numbers are about 1% of historical levels and subsistence, commercial and sport fishing opportunities have been strictly curtailed. 



Climate Protest


In October 2020, Governor Newsom signed his Nature-Based Solutions Executive Order N-82-20, elevating the role of natural and working lands in the fight against climate change and advancing biodiversity conservation as an administration priority. As part of this Executive Order, California committed to the goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and coastal waters by 2030.

There are concerns that the bill’s broad sweeping language could result in unnecessary and unintended closures to hunting and fishing access.



Salmon shape the lives of the people who have lived in California since time immemorial. The cultures and intertribal interactions are all impacted and influenced by salmon. These fish have been an important part of the economies of the region for thousands of years. Salmon are part of the spiritual and cultural identity of indigenous peoples but are currently facing adversity.





Supporting the next generation of water protectors is vital. Ultimately they will be the ones to deal with the most threatening aspects of climate change. Youth should also be current leaders in the environmental movement, as they bring new insights and solutions. By providing opportunities for the youth we aim to strengthen leadership skills, build a sense of community,  and provide opportunities for growth.


  • Created the Advocacy and Water Protection in Native California High School Curriculum and Educators Resource Guide

  • Hosted Advocacy and  Water Protection in Native California High School Educators’ Training

  • Hosted the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Science & Management Webinar Series, Including Webinars on:

    • What is Traditional Knowledge?

    • Fires & Forests

    • Rivers & Fish

    • Estuaries & the Delta

    • Oceans

    • 30x30 Climate Plan and Land Back 

  • Helped to finally DEFEAT the Pacific Connector Pipeline 

  • SECURED Water Diversion Curtailments in the Scott and Shasta watersheds on the Klamath River and on several tributaries of the Sacramento River

  • Hosted  a Women Water Warriors Panel for Women’s History Month

  • Attended more than a half-dozen California State Water Board meetings to advocate for better water protections for fish and those who live along Northern California rivers

  • Co-wrote an Alternative Temperature Management Plan for the Sacramento and Trinity Rivers and submitted to the California State Water Board

  • Helped start a campaign to reform California’s racist water rights system

  • Gave almost a dozen youth paid internships to pursue passions around the watersheds of their choosing. Some projects included a Trinity River cleanup event with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, a whitewater safety training, a canoe camp, the development of a newsletter and much more.  

  • Opened a San Francisco Office with the San Francisco Indian Cultural District and International Indian Treaty Council 

  • Held a Day of Action for California Salmon on May 4, 2021

  • Hosted Love Your River Week, featuring the following events and presentations: 

    • Our Second Annual Youth Water Protectors Panel

    • Droughts, Dams, & Native Rights Panel

    • The Place of Water & Fire: Connecting Land, Water, & The History in Native California Webinar

    • An in-person O’Keto Big Lagoon Family Kayak Day

    • Love the Bay event in conjunction with the San Francisco Indian Cultural District One Year Anniversary Party

    • Love Your Ocean and Support the Name Change Event at Sue-Meg State Park

  • Created videos asking Governor Newsom to save the salmon and reform California water policy with the help of Wingspan Media & the Hoopa High Water Protectors Club

  • Hosted a Klamath Youth Water Protectors Canoe Camp

  • Attended Fish & Game meetings that helped lead to Spring Chinook on the Klamath to be protected under the California Endangered Species Act

  • Attended, and advertised a State Parks Commission meeting on changing the name of former Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-Meg State Park

  • Testified to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to support Klamath Dam Removal

  • Hosted a white water safety course and water safety campaign on the Trinity River 

  • Taught the Water Protection Curriculum at the Yurok Tribe’s summer school and internship program 

  • Created infographics to educate the public on water and climate issues

  • Hired a new Save California Salmon Co-Director, Sheridan Noelani Enomoto

  • Hosted the Harvesting Health: Native Youth Summit with the North Coast Indian Development Council 

  • Trained interns and attended youth conferences with Youth Organize California and Californians for Justice 

  • Started the West Coast Water Justice Podcast featuring: 

  • Visited high schools and elementary schools for Native American Heritage Month to educate about water and climate issues.

  • Garnered over 50,000 online signatures against the proposed Sites Reservoir

  • Assisted Humboldt County in writing and obtaining a grant for $575,000 from the Wildlife Conservation Board to perform studies necessary to utilize its 1959 water contract for 50,000 acre-feet of Trinity water

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