Film Showcases a Farmer’s Love for California’s San Joaquin River


“I’ve had a love affair with the San Joaquin River since the first time I saw it. I feel that all rivers are national treasures. When that river was wild, it was so beautiful. It was sacred, spiritual. It was a feeling I can’t even describe. And I used to think, I wish more people could be doing what I’m doing. Because of how good it felt, to be on the river, a free-flowing river. To me, it was the most wonderful thing that was happening in my life at the time – being on the river.”

– Walt Shubin

When it comes to news about the drought in California, we’re all tired of “fish versus farms” stories that offer false choices and no solutions. Enter Walt Shubin, a farmer who has been fighting to restore the health of the San Joaquin River for decades. Walt remembers the river when it was wild, when its waters flowed, and it was home to abundant fish and wildlife.

Our new film, “Walt,” shares his story and captures his determination to restore the river. “We’re going to bring it back,” he declares.

Learn more and find out how you can help the San Joaquin River, which American Rivers named America’s Most Endangered River® in 2014.

“Walt,” produced by filmmaker Justin Clifton, is part of our series of films using creative storytelling to inspire river conservation. First, we released Parker’s Top 50, about a child’s action-packed adventures along some of the Northwest’s most beautiful rivers. Next came The Important Places, an award-winning film about a father and son reconnecting on a Grand Canyon river trip. This summer, we released Flint, featuring the beauty of Georgia’s Flint River. All of these films were featured at the Wild & Scenic film festival this past weekend – and we have more exciting film projects planned for 2016.

Take action to save the San Joaquin River