The California Legislature added the Albion River to the state system in 2003. The designated segment includes the river’s estuary where it flows into the Pacific Ocean and a short upstream segment. The designation was in response to a request by Mendocino County to stop a scheme by a water developer to capture fresh water at the mouth of the Albion River to fill giant bags for transport to thirsty southern California.
The Albion possesses extraordinary fish, wildlife, and ecological values. The river supports endangered coho salmon and steelhead. The river’s estuary also is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including osprey, great blue heron and other water fowl, river otter, and harbor seal. Redwood groves line the upper river segment.