River Partners at 20

UN’s Decade on Restoration and our running head start

River Partners 20th anniversary coincides with the recently-declared United Nations’  “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration,” a massive international scaling effort, “to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity.”

After two decades, River Partners tallies the millions of native trees, shrubs and grasses we have planted on 11,000 acres of restored floodplains – a lifeline for endangered and threatened species that will soon be the size of Manhattan.

Our efforts have scored major victories: fragile species returning to our projects, in areas where they have not been sighted in decades or more:

View highlights of our history of path-breaking restoration

Endangered and threatened species recovered on River Partners projects include (from top left): riparian brush rabbit; Least Bell’s vireo; chinook salmon; valley elderberry longhorn beetle; riparian woodrat; Swainson’s hawk; arroyo toad; monarch butterfly; and numerous bee species.

Over the past 20 years, River Partners has pioneered a process for converting flood-prone fields into thriving, self-supporting forests in just three years.

A crescendo of scientific and public support now stems from the practices River Partners has championed for two decades:

  • Highly-publicized studies have shown restored forests can offset up to 21% of annual US greenhouse gas emissions.
  • California’s restoration industry is supplying thousands of reliable and engaging jobs for expert scientists, conservation farmers, young adults and recent migrants.
  • Recovery of a list of endangered species in California relies directly upon our restoration work in partnership with public agencies and experts.
  • California’s visionary 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan says we need expanded floodplains like Dos Rios Ranch to prepare for the impacts of a warming climate.
  • Governor Newsom’s Water Resilience Executive order prioritizes natural infrastructure such as floodplains and forests, that deliver multiple benefits for our environment and growing population.

River Partners is delighted by this recognition of the importance of ecosystem restoration to respond to the climate crisis. As we reconnect floodplains to their rivers and restore native habitat, we are building upon more than two decades of success delivering flood safety, freshwater conservation, and carbon storage in growing river forests. River Partners restoration approach is also grounded in people: our restoration workforce, local communities and green industries, that are sustaining and growing the restoration economy and practices of the future.