At American Whitewater, we do our best to make you feel at home on the American River, but for us, the American River is our home. It’s where we work, play, and relax. It’s more than a place to cool off on a hot summer day – it’s a way of life. This is why it’s so important to us, and we we feel that we must protect it.
River conservation is crucial. Don’t get us wrong, we want you to enjoy the water! It’s kind of our business. However, we also want to ensure there’s still clean, clear water for your grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to enjoy after we’re long gone.
You may not realize it, but a river is a remarkably complex ecosystem. Plants and animals exist in harmony with rocks, water, and mineral soil. When an ecosystem is in balance, all of these living and non-living things are happy. When one thing is out of whack, it can cause some pretty serious stress for everything else.
Many things can disrupt a river’s ecosystem and threaten its survival. Improper drainage or damming can change the river’s course. Mining the hillsides or building factories too close to the water can produce toxic by-products that make plants, animals, and microorganisms really angry, or worse yet, nonexistent. Human pollutants and litter takes a toll on the cleanliness of the river. Do you really want toxic waste splashed in your face when you’re shooting the rapids? Neither do we.
River conservation should matter to you because you don’t want to raft in sludge!
Rivers can’t save themselves, so companies like the non-profit organization American Whitewater fight for them. Organizations like theirs make river conservation a mission, sort of like river-saving superheroes. They petition local governments to make important changes, testify against eco-villains, and organize riverbank cleanups.
The American River Conservancy (ARC) does a great job protecting the river in our own backyard. Offering conservation education, summer camps for kids, and in-school programs and teacher resources, ARC wants everyone to understand the importance of clean, protected rivers.
You don’t have to be a fancy conservation organization to do your part. Pack out your trash when you’re done enjoying the water, volunteer for a cleanup, or join up with a tree-planting party to help combat bank erosion.
Better yet, take someone rafting on the American River this summer. Show them how much fun a river trip can be. Remember, people will always protect what they care about!