All Hope is Not Lost for St. Croix

St. Croix, MN, WI

St. Croix, MN, WI | Jim Denham

Poor St. Croix River… sigh… 

Recent attacks on this river caused it to appear on our 2009 and 2011 lists of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.  In March 2012, President Obama signed a bill that created an exemption to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in order to build a superhighway bridge across the river. 


Allowing this exemption set a dangerous precedent for Wild and Scenic River management across the country.  Needless to say, American Rivers was very disappointed at the passage of this bill.

Fortunately, I have some good news to report on the St. Croix today.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a sweeping cleanup plan aimed at improving water quality throughout the river basin.  Recently, river lovers along the St. Croix have started to push for a cleaner, healthier river system.  The EPA’s recent action should boost those efforts, and hopefully lead to a cleaner river for everyone to enjoy.

Cleaning up phosphorus on the St. Croix River is particularly important because rivers are connected— and this one connects to one of the nation’s most important river resources, the Mississippi River.  The Mississippi suffers from a large amount of contamination from polluted runoff— a large amount of which flows from tributary rivers such as the St. Croix.

It is good to see river residents and management agencies standing up in support of this Wild and Scenic River, and working to protect the outstandingly remarkable values for which it was protected. 

Public engagement on local issues that impact Wild and Scenic Rivers is critical to their survival against projects that would threaten their protection. 

Do you have a local Wild and Scenic River that you fight to protect?  Tell us about it!