Sewage Bacteria Makes Chicago River One of America’s Most Endangered Rivers

Chicago, Ill. – The daily discharge of 1.2 billion gallons of undisinfected sewage effluent into the Chicago River system threatens public health and has earned the river a place on the annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers™, a report issued by the conservation group American Rivers. Supporting over six million residents regionally, the Chicago… Read more »

Mississippi floods: the Year of the River

Several months ago, American Rivers dubbed 2011 The Year of the River because of the exciting and unprecedented dam removal projects coming up. The river restoration on Washington’s Elwha and White Salmon are ones for the history books. But now we have another history-making event in the works: record flooding of the Mississippi River. We… Read more »

What Can We Learn From the Mississippi River Flooding?

When the US Army Corps of Engineers blew the levee at Birds Point and the New Madrid Floodway, it sparked a heated debate. We can ask whether this particular by-pass was a idea or not, but that decision was made 80 years ago, right or wrong. One thing is for sure in a changing climate —… Read more »

The Consequences of Controlling a River Course

America’s Rivers Are At Risk This year’s flooding spotlights some of the challenges that our rivers are facing. On May 17th, we’re announcing the newest America’s Most Endangered Rivers. Sign up to find out how you can get involved. * First Name: * Last Name: * Email: ZIP: Yes! I want to protect my rivers… Read more »

Rivers Aren’t a Problem to be Solved

[Part 2 of a series on the floods in the Midwest – read part 1 here] Throughout much of American history, rivers have been treated as problems that must be “solved” through large scale and expensive engineering projects. The result? Rivers have been clogged with dams, straightened, channelized, and cut off from their floodplains by… Read more »

Levee Breach Shows Importance of Natural Floodplains for Public Safety

On Monday, the US Army Corps of Engineers made the difficult decision to intentionally breach a levee on the middle Mississippi River. Dynamiting the Birds’ Point Levee routed floodwaters into 130,000 acres of agricultural land on the New Madrid Floodway in nearby Missouri and away from the 2,800 residents of Cairo, Illinois. Yesterday’s event activated… Read more »

River Cleanup Showdown!

American Rivers has seen nothing like this in the history of National River Cleanup™ and that’s 20 years of cleaning up!). Two large cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, are competing to see how many Facebook fans they can gain prior to the two cities largest cleanup events. Both cleanups, the 22nd annual Great Los Angeles… Read more »