The California Gold Rush that began in 1849 is what gave the state its nickname of "The Golden State." It was a time that shaped much of California's history as well as the rest of the nation since it spurred exploration to the state by people from all over. A new Gold Rush could be happening, but this time, the weather and climate change is the cause. Because of record high temperatures and increased snow melting in northern California, rivers are fuller than ever. Sediment is being sucked up by the increased water volume, bringing gold to the surface of many areas.
Gold diggers (not the kind looking for wealthy partners) call it "Flood Gold." There are many independent miners who have left behind jobs and families to search for it. While a miner can make $5000 or more in just a few sifts in a hot spot, money is flowing into local economies as well. Towns near these swollen rivers are seeing an upswing in tourism, and that is helping businesses and the bottom line. While no one in is happy about flooding, given the environmental impact it's had on wildlife and forests, the upside of a mini Gold Rush that brings opportunity and income to residents is a welcome bit of serendipity.