The Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers in 2014

The national conservation group, American Rivers, unveiled their annual list today of the Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers in the United States. Some are national icons, like the Mississippi; others are virtual unknowns, like the Haw River in North Carolina. Their only common ground are that each one faces impending industrialization. Threats like oil and gas drilling, water diversion, and polluted runoff are all clouding these rivers’ futures— the good news: This is the year you can save them.  

Every river on this list faces a key decision in the upcoming months that will determine its future. So while it may look like a police lineup of the usual suspects, it is also a call to action; a time to stand up and give full-throated support for the rivers you love. So, without further ado, here is the list of the Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers in 2014. How many do you know? Click on the river to learn more about it.


issue---San-Joaquin-River-drying-up-at-San-Mateo-Road---credit-Alison-Jones-www.nowater-nolife.org
Alison Jones

1. San Joaquin River, California
Threat: Outdated water management and excessive diversions
At Risk: River health and resilient communities


Neubecker
Neubecker

2. Upper Colorado River System, Colorado
Threat: New trans-mountain water diversions
At Risk: River health and recreation


Ted Heisel
Ted Heisel

3.  Middle Mississippi River, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky
Threat:  Outdated flood management
At Risk:  Wildlife habitat and public safety


Dennis OKeefe
Dennis OKeefe

4.  Gila River, New Mexico
Threat:  New water diversions
At Risk:  River health, fish & wildlife, recreation, and tourism 


Matt Stoecker
Matt Stoecker

5. San Francisquito Creek, California
Threat:  Dam
At Risk:  Fish and wildlife habitat and public safety


Chris Hall
Chris Hall

6.  South Fork Edisto River, South Carolina
Threat:  Excessive water withdrawals
At Risk:  Fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and water quality


Ecoflight
Ecoflight

7. White River, Colorado
Threat:  Oil and gas drilling
At Risk:  Drinking water supplies and fish and wildlife habitat


Eric Marner
Eric Marner

8. White River, Washington
Threat:  Outdated dam and fish passage facilities
At Risk:  Salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations


Haw River Assembly
Haw River Assembly

9.  Haw River, North Carolina
Threat:  Polluted runoff
At Risk:  Clean water


Roger Inghram
Roger Inghram

10. Clearwater/Lochsa Rivers, Idaho
Threat:  Industrialization of a Wild and Scenic River corridor
At risk:  Scenery, solitude, world-class recreational values


 

These rivers support recreation, wildlife, and scenery as diverse as the American landscape itself. They tumble down from the Rockies, meander through the Heartlands, and unfurl into Atlantic marshes. They spread across this country and they tell a story. These rivers are endangered because they are abused and mismanaged. But if you’ve ever dipped your paddle into a river and felt the muscular tug of the current, or hooked a fish from a silent backwater, then you already know the value of a river. This is your chance to protect it, to get involved, to make sure the rivers of America remain healthy, wild, and free.

By: Tim Gibbins