By Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Kayakers on the American River were calling for change while cruising by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s backyard. The paddling protestors demanded the governor put California on a path to phase out fossil fuels.

The demonstration-took shape at the Sunrise Recreation area, just yards away from Newsom’s home.

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“We just want to send a message that he should stand up to big oil, not fall for their lies,” said 350 Sacramento President Ilonka Zlatar.

About a dozen self-described “kayaktivists” grabbed their posters and paddles before heading out on the water that backs up to trails near Newsom’s backyard.

Matt Leonard with the Oil and Gas Action Network said this floating fight can help lead to real change.

“It’s a great way to show people power on the water,” he said. “That water should be about people, not necessarily dependent on the industry.”

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Their mission is three-fold:

  • Stop new oil and gas permits
  • Roll out a safety buffer between homes
  • Create a plan to get California off fossil fuels

Organizers say they’ve been in communication with the governor’s office for years, but call the actions, so far, “baby steps.”

“We’re out here to just keep up the pressure and make sure he knows that people care about this,” ZLatar said.

The movement is hoping to make a splash in other communities across the state.

“We’re hoping this is the seed that grows and leads to more ‘kayaktavism’ and continues the campaign to call on Gov. Newsom to end oil drilling California,” Leonard said.

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The “kayaktivists” also protested polluters in downtown Sacramento on Tuesday, marching to the Capitol and holding a “die-in” to symbolize the threat they say big oil has to our health.

Adrienne Moore