Friends of the Eel River is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working for the recovery of our Wild and Scenic Eel River, its fisheries and communities. We proudly devote ourselves to the defense of and advocacy for the Eel River watershed and its native salmonids. We partner with other local and statewide environmental nonprofits, scientists and fisheries experts, tribal nations, and concerned citizens.

One of our primary goals is the decommissioning of two 100-year-old dams owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), known as the Potter Valley Project (PVP), which block access to the headwaters of the Eel River. The PVP also includes a diversion tunnel that connects the Eel River to the Russian River and diverts Eel River water into the Russian.

Friends of the Eel River was formed in late 1994. In 1995, Friends of the Eel River filed as an intervener in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proceedings regarding the PVP.  Since then we have been engaged with a variety of agencies on numerous fronts. In 2003 we won an appeal against the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), with a ruling that the SCWA had failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.

We are currently suing the North Coast Railroad Authority in an effort to prevent the return of a railroad through the geologically unstable Eel River canyon. We work to educate the public about water rights, the environmental harms associated with marijuana grows, water conservation, and how to be a steward of the watershed.

Grant Recipient 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Discretionary Donation 2010, 2011, 2012

photo credit: William Lemos, 2006