Protecting Rivers & Your Clean Water
Highlighting this remarkable network as the most iconic river of the Golden State, the Merced tumbles out of Yosemite Valley and into the Sierra foothills— its protection the result of a popular groundswell and decisive congressional agreements in both 1987 and 1992.
Escaping the rancor that typifies political debates today, this system of protected waterways has never faced a serious effort to undermine its meaning or effectiveness. Until now.Read more »
Based on our 40 years of experience fishing and paddling the Merced River, we fully agree with American Rivers on including the Merced River as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2013. The Merced Irrigation District’s (MID) proposal would raise the storage reservoir (in the wettest years) by 10 feet, and flood part of the Merced that is protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.Read more »
Once a year my parents would take me to my favorite local haunt – the Loxahatchee River in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. There, we’d rent a canoe and head into the riverine wilderness looking for manatees, turtles and alligators. I remember feeling like I was exploring the remotest reaches of the upper Amazon, not knowing what fascinating creatures might lie around the next bend.Read more »
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly in a helicopter over the Yampa River, the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin courtesy of LightHawk; a fantastic organization that works with volunteer pilots to fly over priority conservation areas.
The Yampa River rises in the Flat Top Mountains near Steamboat, Colorado and flows through some of the most beautiful, rugged and barren country anywhere in America. The Yampa meets the Green River at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument.
Representatives Tom McClintock and Jim Costa have introduced legislation (H.R. 934) that would roll back protections for nearly a mile of the Wild and Scenic Merced River in order to raise Merced Irrigation District’s 479-ft New Exchequer Dam. The Merced River was protected under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in 1992, which prohibits the construction of dams that affect designated rivers.Read more »
In 2005, the Whittenton Dam nearly failed, forcing 2,000 people to evacuate homes and businesses in downtown Taunton, Massachusetts. As the Mill River swelled around the dilapidated dam, senators, a governor, and CNN gathered and assessed the site. The dam was built to power a mill more than a century before, but it hadn’t served that purpose for decades. But like so many other dams, it remained in the river, a hazard that was nearly realized.Read more »
The Wild and Scenic Chetco River is renowned for its world-class salmon and steelhead runs, and crystal clear water. However, it is still vulnerable to mining thanks to the General Mining Law of 1872 – which gives mining precedence over all other uses. Out of concern for the impact that this mining could have on this special place, American Rivers listed the Chetco as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2010.Read more »