Riding the Tide: the Napa River Classroom

wt_fundingcrediticonThanks to a grant from the Whale Tail License Plate fund, Friends of the Napa River and the Napa County RCD took students from the Napa and American Canyon Boys and Girls Clubs out kayaking on the Napa River over the summer to let them learn first hand how our river connects to the ocean. The students felt the pull of the tide and noted the saltiness of the water as the high tide brought water from the San Pablo Bay to mix with the fresh water from the Napa River. They learned about the richness of estuary habitats teeming with life, the birds that feed in the mudflats during low tide, and about the salmon and steelhead trout that navigate from freshwater to saltwater and back again during their life cycle. Students also learned about the importance of keeping trash out of our waterways; and that the tide, runoff, and river’s flow carry trash into the ocean. Continue reading “Riding the Tide: the Napa River Classroom”

New York Times article on Historical Ecology in the Napa Valley

New York Times reporter Jim Robbins just published an interesting article: “In Napa Valley, Future Landscapes Are Viewed in the Past” which describes how historical ecology is used to inform restoration efforts in Napa Valley.

Friends of the Napa River are proud to have partnered with SFEI to investigate our Napa Valley historical ecology, to piece together how our landscape functioned before European settlement and the changes that have occurred over the past 180+ years. These lessons can inform our management of the land going forward, guiding efforts to restore key ecological features and functions within the modern landscape and providing greater resiliency for the future.

Some of the projects that have benefited from this historical ecology work include Napa River restoration and the Napa County Resource Conservation District partnership to re-oak the valley. We all benefit from a deeper connection to our landscape.


A map, two aerial photos and a land survey showing different stages of the area around the Napa River and the city of Napa, Calif., in (from left) 1858, 1942, 2009 and 1858.  Composite by Ruth Askevold / San Francisco Estuary Institute; from left to right: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S.D.A., U.S.D.A., Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, BerkeleyRobbins, Jim. “In Napa Valley, Future Landscapes are Viewed in the Past.” The New York Times, January 26, 2016.

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