Why Healthy Rivers Matter More than Ever

From Mississippi to South Carolina to Georgia, drought and water scarcity have damaged and devastated many communities in the South, as a result of climate change. But climate change won’t stop there.

Rushing stream. | Photo: Barb Canale

“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.

These are the kinds of impacts we’re seeing with climate change – and we may see more, now that President Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

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:

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.”

Learn more: Resources on Climate Change and Rivers

3 responses to “Why Healthy Rivers Matter More than Ever

  1. Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. He does not possess the requisite intellect and does not understand the significance of the office he holds nor the tasks associated with it. He doesn’t read. He doesn’t bother to peruse important files and intelligence reports and knows little about the issues that he has identified as his priorities. His decisions are capricious and they are delivered in the form of tyrannical decrees.
    He is a man free of morals. As has been demonstrated hundreds of times, he is a liar, a racist and a cheat. I feel ashamed to use these words, as sharp and loud as they are. But if they apply to anyone, they apply to Trump. And one of the media’s tasks is to continue telling things as they are: Trump has to be removed from the White House. Quickly. He is a danger to the world.

  2. Mr. TRUMP HAS done more damage to this wonderful country than anyone in history..and his decision to back out of the Paris agreement..was..proof if his incompetence…and the removal of protection for National Parks !

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