About

Friends of the Petaluma River is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to celebrating and conserving the Petaluma River, its wetlands, and wildlife.

Our mission: To promote stewardship of the Petaluma River. We work throughout its watershed; providing access opportunities, educational materials, and conservation programs. We also provide a voice for the River’s inhabitants and resources in public affairs.
Our Goals: Access, Education, and Conservation

  • To establish a permanent presence in the watershed; becoming the first non-government organization to work fulltime for the betterment of the Petaluma River . and its inhabitants
  • To pursue outreach and educational activities that will foster enthusiasm and commitment in the watershed for long term sustainable stewardship.
  • To monitor conditions and engage in activities that will reduce or prevent pollution and lessen other harmful impacts on the River and its wetlands.
  • To create a River Heritage Center as a community resource. A place to archive information, host events, administer programs, and coordinate river related activities.

Friends of the Petaluma River Staff:

Elizabeth Howland; interim Executive Director

Elizabeth is one of the proprietors of Clementine EcoEvents, a company that is committed to saving the planet, one event at a time. She is also a principal in andHow, a marketing consulting firm.

Earlier in her career, Elizabeth was Vice President of Marketing at Athleta, the premier women’s sports apparel retailer, where she oversaw all marketing functions and spearheaded the design and production of the Athleta catalog and web store. Prior to Athleta, Elizabeth spent several years in executive positions for multi-channel retail firms including Triplex, Gymboree and Bio Bottoms. Elizabeth is a founding member of Friends of the Petaluma River. She has lived in Petaluma for 25 years and is an active outdoor enthusiast and musician.

Michelle Sauceda; Staff

Michelle Sauceda was hired to help with our office administration, grant support, Tidings creation, educational outreach program development, as well as River Restoration projects.  Michelle has recently moved to Pt. Reyes Station from Santa Cruz County where she was a Program Manager for the 8Shields Institute programs.  She has also
developed curriculum for Nature Connection youth programs and  works in the field with youth as a Nature Connection Mentor.

Stephanie Bastianon; Staff

Stephanie Bastianon was hired to help with fundraising and community outreach.  She will be working to expand opportunities for members, sponsors, and community leaders
to support Friends education and conservation programming on the River.  Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in International Development and Non Profit Management from UC San Diego and has worked on water quality issues with San Diego Coastkeeper and more recently as a Campaign Coordinator for Rep. Lynn Woolsey in Petaluma.

We promote appreciation of the Petaluma River and protect the vitality of its natural resources.

Corporate Sponsors


Sonoma Raceway clover The Rose Foundation

River Tour Sponsors