Is your river the most endangered? Let us know!

American Rivers is now accepting nominations for our 2017 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.

Bridge on the Flint River, MI

Right now, American Rivers is soliciting nominations for our annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. Do you think that your favorite river is facing a critical decision in the coming year? Have you been wondering… why isn’t my river on the list when it faces so many threats? Let us know!

America's Most Endangered Rivers for 2016
America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2016

Hopefully, you have seen our blog posts in recent months talking about threats facing the 2016 listed rivers. We are spreading the word about threats to these special places, thanks to you! Since April, our America’s Most Endangered Rivers blog series (scroll to the bottom of each river page for links) has covered the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, St. Lawrence River, Merrimack River, Smith River, and currently the Russell Fork River. [Next up for mid-October: Green-Duwamish River in Washington.]

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for our 2017 report. Nominations are welcomed from any interested groups throughout the United States.

Rivers are selected based upon the following criteria:

  • A major decision (that the public can help influence) in the coming year on the proposed action
  • The significance of the river to human and natural communities
  • The magnitude of the threat to the river and associated communities, especially in light of a changing climate

The report highlights ten rivers whose fate will be decided in the coming year, and encourages decision-makers to do the right thing for the rivers and the communities they support. The report is not a list of the nation’s “worst” or most polluted rivers, but rather it highlights rivers confronted by critical decisions that will determine their future. The report presents alternatives to proposals that would damage rivers, identifies those who make the crucial decisions, and points out opportunities for the public to take action on behalf of each listed river.

Please help us make the most of this great opportunity in 2017 by nominating a river you think deserves to be included on our list. Deadline for nominations is Monday, October 31, 2016. Contact Jessie Thomas-Blate for more information.

16 responses to “Is your river the most endangered? Let us know!

  1. I would like to nominate the Raccoon River in Iowa as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2017. Over 600,000 people acquire their drinking water from the Raccoon. Despite nitrogen removal, water utilities struggle to meet standards. Microcystin has been detected in source water. I was unable to find a nomination form on your website. Please give us consideration. More details are available.

    Steve Roe, President, Raccoon River Watershed Association

  2. Please look into the effort that is needed to help protect the Roaring Fork River that flows from the top of the Continental Divide on Independence Pass in Pitkin County, down to the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, CO in Garfield County. In addition, dams are threatened on Maroon Creek and Castle Creek which flow out of the Snowmass/Maroon Bells Wilderness outside of Aspen, CO, and flow into the Roaring Fork River.

    In addition, the Deep Creek water shed area north of I-70 in Eagle and Garfield Counties and flows directly into the Colorado River about 18 miles east of Glenwood Springs, is also in danger.

    Another river that is critical to this area of Colorado is the Crystal River. The Crystal comes out of the Skolfield Pass region in Gunnison County, flows through Pitkin County and into Garfield County before joining the Roaring Fork River in Carbondale, CO and making it’s way to the Colorado River.

    Local non-profit grass roots organizations in this area are working to preserve these streams and rivers, but we could use all the help we can get!

  3. The Crystal River that flows from Gunnison County, Pitkin County and through Garfield County before it joins the Roaring Fork River and into the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, CO is threatened by dams, and entities outside of the area wanting to grab water from this last remaining un-dammed river in this part of Colorado.

    In addition, Maroon Creek that flows out from the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area in Pitkin County into the Roaring Fork River, AND, Castle Creek that flows from the top of Pearl Pass and into the Roaring Fork River, also in Pitkin County, are both in danger of dam projects that will interrupt wildlife and fish habitat, impact critical recreation areas in the Snowmass/Maroon Bells Wilderness Areas, are also endangered. The Roaring Fork River, itself, that flows from the top of Independence Pass, through Aspen, and downstream 40 miles to the Colorado River, is endangered. Any effort that can be spent to protect these 4 rivers in this area will be appreciated! Thank you!!!

  4. I nominate the Menominee River, along the border between Wisconsin and Michigan, for most endangered status. The river is named for the Menominee people, whose main village was at the mouth of the Menominee River for thousands of years. My great-great-great grandfather, civil war veteran Charles Carl Meyers, settled along the Menominee River and a few years later died in the Menominee River. He was a lumberjack and log roller who died moving logs to the mills downstream in Marinette. (See The late 19th century lumber industry impaired the river’s fishery and 20th century dams tamed parts of it. My father spent his entire career working at a paper mill on its south bank at Marinette. Our family used to fish and water ski sections of the river. In all, the Menominee River has been a part of my family’s lives for six generations. It is not the pristine river that my 3rd great grandfather found 150 years ago, but it is still a great river with several wild sections. The open pit sulfide mine that is proposed upstream threatens the health of fish and wildlife populations as well as the drinking water of more than 10,000 people living downstream. The mine is a terrible idea and should be stopped.

    1. The Menominee River, which is bordered by Michigan and Wisconsin is being threatened by a open pit mine that will be situated within 150″ of it’s banks. This river flows into Lake Michigan. This mine will affect over 80 acres of forest and wetlands. The Menominee Indian Tribe originated on the banks of this river. There are burial grounds, sacred sites and Indian gardens that will be destroyed. They will be processing silver, gold and lead using cyanide and will not disclose the exact amount. There will be tailings left on site along with clay-lined retaining ponds close to the river. If the water level rises this could be catastrophic. There are 14,000 people that rely on clean water for drinking. There are miles of wilderness that is home to eagles, deer and other species. There has been substantial amounts of money spent on dredging the mouth of the river. The 90% of the sturgeon population spawn in this river and are used to stock other areas. This fledgling mining exploration company was designed by the same engineering firm as the Flambeau Mine, which devastated the Flambeau River. Please save our river!

  5. The so-called Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (the same folks who brought you the ignorance and incompetence that resulted in the Flint lead contamination in drinking water scandal) –
    Have given a green light to a huge, open-pit sulfide mine in Menominee County in Michigans’ Upper Peninsula that will mine gold (think cyanide) lead, copper and other ore – right on the banks of the Menominee River on the Wisconsin/Michigan border. The DEQ has ignored scientific concerns over acid leaching and pollution concerns and opposition of 98 percent of people commenting. We along with Save the Wild U.P. and the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition could use your help in trying to avert what will be an environmental catastrophe for the lower 25 miles of one of the most beautiful rivers in the Midwest, with toxic pollution flowing from the mine site downriver into the bay of Green Bay.

  6. The Au Sable River, near Grayling and Roscommon Michigan. Fracking is the concern. Plus tree cutting, thanks to Weyerhaeuser.
    This isn’t a big river but a very precious and lovely river. We are concerned. In a community which is in need of jobs, there isn’t much local support for preventing the degradation of a once beautiful and significant (especially for wildlife and habitat) river.

  7. Coal River, in west Virginia is still one of the most polluted rivers in the usa. Coal companies have destroyed it.

  8. Animas River. Abandoned mine leakage. Superfund designation of the Gold King Mine area is only the first step among many needed in the future!

  9. The Buffalo River, North West Arkansas.

    A fairly new, Cargill pig farm in Arkansas that is now polluting the Buffalo River.

    This situation came to my family’s attention when some friends of ours son became sick after a canoe trip on the Buffalo along with some other teenagers. He was infected with gierardia or Cryptosporidium. The bacteria has been treated but he had to be placed in the hospital with serious remaining complications, having to stay until Sept 20th. He was diagnosed with post infectious gastroparesis, which is basically that his stomach is “paralyzed” and he is being fed through a pic line while the doctors try to treat him.

  10. I nominate the Chehalis River in western Washington. It is an important salmon, steelhead and recreation river, and currently one of the few undammed major rivers in the state.
    It is currently under threat from both ends. There is an oil shipping and storage terminal currently in the permitting process at the mouth on Grays Harbor, where a spill would decimate its estuary. There is also a dam being proposed in its upper reaches that is now in the public meeting and EIS phase by the state Department of Ecology.
    Both of these projects face very strong local opposition, but are still progressing in the face of that. The river needs help!

  11. Aspen Colorado City Council just voted to build two dams.

    Watershed candidates: Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, Colorado

    1. I believe the Willamette River, running right through the center of Portland, Oregon should long ago have been put on this list of majorly endangered rivers. It’s been a Superfund Toxic Cleanup Designated River, for DECADES, yet the work have never YET even been started, let alone completed. Deformed fish and other water creatures, of every species, are more the norm than the exception, while so much ship pollution, sewer drainage runoff, multiple bridge spills/crashes/debris, along with Port of Portland pollution has gone unchecked, that the entire area is unsafe for humans to have any water contact with, at all. Unfortunately, too many ignorant Oregonians and visitors can be found jet-skiing, swimming, fishing, and otherwise soaking in that toxic trashed locale, every summer, not realizing the risks they are putting themselves and their family members/friends in. As a retired RN, BSN, and clinical MSW, whose had to provide health care to these previously healthy individuals who, inevitably, end up suffering the health consequences of their reckless folly, and as a third generation native Portlander, I know this river MUST be treated as the TOXIC TRASH HEAP that it’s been used as, for generations, and cleaned up/restored, back to a safe, sustainable, and well-maintained ecosystem, both for wildlife and for humans, alike!

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