Stanford University’s Searsville Dam

Stanford University has a 65-foot tall, 125-year-old dam that blocks the migration of native steelhead trout, which have been listed and protected by the Endangered Species Act since the mid-1990s.  Stanford has regularly diverted and blocked water from this critical habitat in order to water its private golf course and other campus landscaping.  Ripple helped two environmental groups – Our Children’s Earth and the Ecological Rights Foundation — publicize a lawsuit related to the controversial Searsville dam, and developed strategic messages and timing for the release to maximize buzz in the Bay Area and beyond. Some of the coverage included: ABC TV, San Francisco Chronicle, KCBS Radio, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, Law 360, San Francisco Examiner, Palo Alto Online, and more.  We also created an infographic, which was featured in a story that we helped write and place on EcoWatch entitled: Battle Heats Up Over Stanford Watering Golf Course Instead of Protecting Endangered Steelhead During Extreme Drought.  Christopher Sproul, the lead attorney in the pending lawsuit, wrote to Ripple after this campaign:  “Well, this is just positively astounding, just a really great success. Thank you Ripple Strategies.  An informed public is our very best ally in our campaign to save Stanford steelhead.”