“We’re now living in a world of extremes on the Mississippi River,” Mayor Brant Walker of Alton, Illinois told E&E News last month. “We just don’t get normal spring rains anymore. We get huge downpours.”
The community of Alton isn’t alone. Flooding has devastated communities from South Carolina to California in recent years, while drought and water scarcity have squeezed Georgia, Arizona, and other states.
There’s no doubt that climate change is hitting our rivers and water resources “first and worst”. Without bold action to stop climate change, more severe floods and droughts, more waterborne diseases, and increasingly scarce water supplies will threaten communities in the United States and around the world.
Since our founding in 1973, American Rivers has been about solutions that work for people and rivers. And now our work is more important than ever.
That’s because, in addition to fighting dirty fossil fuel pollution, we are leading the charge to help communities build their resilience to climate impacts with river conservation solutions, such as:
- Making cities like Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Tucson more water efficient
- Restoring floodplains to absorb floodwaters and build wildlife habitat
- Protecting wild rivers, healthy forests, and streams that naturally sustain clean water supplies
- Improving our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure
Thanks to the work of American Rivers and our nation’s strong river community – including non-profit advocates, scientists, water managers, businesses, and other leaders – the United States is a global leader in river restoration and protection.
As Bob Irvin, the president of American Rivers, stated, “President Trump’s head-in-the-sand approach to climate change contrasts sharply with the leadership and moral courage of countless individuals, businesses, and cities that are working tirelessly to stop dirty fossil fuel pollution and strengthen communities against climate impacts including increased flooding and drought.”
“American Rivers will continue to stand with these local leaders, and we will continue helping communities build their resilience with innovative river conservation solutions. We will work to ensure the United States remains a global leader in river restoration and protection, because a healthy river is a community’s best defense against the impacts of climate change.”