Nominate Your Endangered River Today!

We are now accepting nominations for our report of America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2018 – tell us why your river is endangered!

Sunset on the Neuse River, Bridgeton, NC | Photo: Zach Frailey

Mining. Outdated water management. New dams and diversions. Water pollution.

We regularly see these and other threats every year as we work on compiling our annual report on America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.

Right now is your opportunity to let us know what rivers you think are threatened. 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!

Hopefully, you have seen our blog posts in recent months talking about threats facing the 2017 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 Lower Colorado River, Bear River, Mobile Bay Basin, Green-Toutle Rivers, Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, Menominee River and currently the Middle Fork Flathead River. Still to come will be Rappahannock River, South Fork Skykomish River and Buffalo National River!

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for our 2018 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 2018 by nominating a river you think deserves to be included on our list. Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Contact Jessie Thomas-Blate for more information.

15 responses to “Nominate Your Endangered River Today!

  1. The Arkansas River through Tulsa. Proposals funded for construction of 2 low water dams for no productive purpose other than pure civic narcissism passing itself off as “economic development”, with plans for major real estate development projects on the River banks. Endangered and protected species habitat would be destroyed.

    Tulsa has historically been a highly flood prone area, and modern climate risks, combined with low-water dams and poorly maintained levees in Tulsa, could exacerbate flooding in the city.

  2. The Fenholloway River in North Florida please visit Friends of the Fenholloway River Facebook page to see the 1947 law that turned a beautiful spring fed river into an open sewer ditch.

  3. The Delaware, a much loved Wild and Scenic River coursing through the great wilderness and mega-cities of the northeastern U.S., has been struggling with fossil fuel extraction for more than 100 years and continues to. Though the Pennsylvania Delaware River Basin Commission agree with NY, NJ, and Delaware, that a temporary moratorium on natural gas fracking and drilling under the river should be made permanent, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has taken a step backwards, and is working against conservation. They submitted a resolution asking the Delaware River Basin Commission not to make the moratorium permanent, despite our PA Constitutional right to clean air and pure water. Social injustice is involved as well, as Chester City, although it lies along the Delaware River, has lost its contact with the river as various industrial sites dominate the riverfront so that the people have no access. Chester is the city in Pennsylvania that is most at risk for catastrophic flooding related to global change, and its water treatment facility sits on the shore of the river. We have much conservation work to do in Pennsylvania.

  4. The South Platte River and it’s tributaries have historically been considered one the best trout fisheries close to a metropolitan area in the United States. The United States Environmental Agency invoked a decision to stop the construction of the Two Forks reservoir proposal within the basin in the 1980’s as a result of the fishery resources being identified as “remarkable and irreplaceable”. That decision will be (or is currently open) for reanalysis in the very near future.
    The South Platte has been manged as a water conduit, feeding unregulated human population on the front range of Colorado. While recreation is still a valuable part of the river season, the status of the fishery has and will decrease further. The river has historically been used and manipulated for human use, the ecology of the system has changed significantly. As the population of Colorado doubles every few years, the risk of extensive over-utilization is imminent. Even today, agreement has been made, based on extremely complicated NEPA analysis, to “modify” the existing regulated system flows throughout the river system, due to a FERC decision for a hydroelectric facility on one Reservoir.
    Additional trans-mountain diversions have been identified for future potential development in the future. These additional flows could result in further negative impacts to the already modified/stressed South Platte River ecosystem.
    Introductions of invasive species, including whirling disease, New Zealand mud snails, Eurasian milfoil and most recently spiny water fleas have only received minimal attention due to limited funding and efforts by state and federal agencies. Whirling disease in particular has taken a significant toll on the species composition and biomass of salmonids in areas of the river.
    Cumulatively, the identified impacts are transferring a remarkable river to a mere “shadow” of it’s past. Without additional protection, education and resources this once prolific river system will be transformed into a memory of it’s past.

  5. I nominate the Green-Toutle River in Washington State. The Green-Toutle River flows through public lands acquired for public recreation and conservation purposes near Mount St. Helens, is threatened with a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine. The Green-Toutle River provides clean drinking water, fantastic opportunities for recreation and important habitat for wild steelhead. Despite being a proposed Wild and Scenic River and state-designated Wild Steelhead Gene Bank, the Green continues to be threatened by proposed exploratory drilling that threatens water quality and is a significant step towards the development of an industrial-scale hardrock mine. This river’s watershed needs to be protected from mining. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management should deny the exploratory drilling permits and tall future mining proposals.

    1. The South Fork Shendoah, in Virginia.
      1- Water being drawn off river by Harrisonburg.
      Most people that vacation try a tube, fishing,
      Kayak or canoe. Huge money loss for
      Business. Local stores, property values
      Water quality getting worse.
      2 – Water supply drying up, more concentrated
      Pollutants, alot of tires, beer cans\bottles,
      General trash and thick grass clogging river.
      Embarrassing when people see this.

  6. Rio Grande / Rio Bravo River just got a Waterkeeper (!!! It’s no longer a continuous river but remains essential to our water starved South Texas Rio Grande River Valley area. But two looming threats could do it in: Border Wall expansion (starting as early as this November 2018 at our Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge) and proposed LNG export operations at our local Port of Brownsville (which would encourage the fracking of northern Mexico’s Burgos Basin just the other side of the Rio Grande from McAllen, TX). For more information, visit Save Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge at, saveRGVfromLNG at, and Lower Rio Grande Sierra Club at


    Please get the word out about how contaminated Kauai’s rivers are. Old and outdated cesspools overflow on a weekly basis contaminating almost every river on the island way above acceptable levels and pours into popular beaches, but the Dept of Health refuses to install warning signage.

    If you go to’s Kauai Chapter and check out their monthly contamination sample records, you will understand why locals can no longer use their rivers, and need to avoid river mouths and even some popular beaches. Many have died from flesh-eating bacteria and many tourists arrive home infected. Most locals who live in old housing cannot afford installing new, updated cesspools to counter the contamination, so the govt needs to create a measure that will utilize tax dollars as a means to accomplish this, if not declare a state of emergency for federal help.
    Please do your best to investigate and shed national light on this serious problem that is taking place in one of our nation’s most beautiful and precious locations.

  8. I would like to know if the heavy damming of California rivers has affected the ability of the aquifers beneath the river beds to recharge/refill…since a dammed river has less downward current-force to push river water into underground bedrock / sediment etc. Much of the dam reservoir water is known to be lost to evaporation. Above-ground irrigation also causes heavy evaporation the net effect of mainstream river damming seems to be more water loss while giving the illusion of conservation…along with heavy ecosystem damage.

    You also have to consider the potential damage caused by lack of cold river water outflows into coastal waters because of damming and river water diversions for farms and cities. This reduction in cold river water outflows likely contributes to coastal water warming….and coastal coral heat-death in tropical areas.

    If every river on your state coastline is dammed…your coastal waters will likely warm dramatically.
    This has likely caused warming in the Gulf of Mexico in recent years, which could increase hurricane intensity. The Rio Grande River’s outflows into the Gulf of Mexico have decreased dramatically in recent years. Along with other rivers which flow into the Gulf.

  9. Love your commercials. Until we get rid of our Republican congress and senate our rivers will always be in constant danger.
    PS also don’t forget the idiot that,s running our country down the toilet.
    Keep up the great work.

  10. The Feather River is the most endangered river in California. The headwaters of California’s state water project, its initial impoundment was in 1968. Seven years later, in 1975, reservoir induced seismicity caused a 5.7 M earthquake in the surrounding area. This past winter, the Feather River attempted to reclaim itself, pouring over an unarmored spillway, eating away the earth beneath it, and causing the evacuation of over 200,000 people, including my entire family.
    This river provides millions of acre-feet of water to Central Valley agriculture and feeds billions of people. It is the water supply for the entire urban population in Los Angeles, among 26 water contractors. The Feather River has incredible whitewater on the North Fork, but the operators of the stairway of power release boatable flows only once per month during the summer.
    The Butte County board of Supervisors have requested the Federal Railroad Administration reroute trains carrying DOT 111 tankers filled with Bakken crude shale as the Feather River canyon through which they are transported is incredibly geologically unstable. There have been several trail spills in the canyon in the past decade, and the state is fortunate that none of them have contained hazardous materials.
    Additionally, the spillway is currently being rebuilt, but there are not plans to completely armor the auxiliary spillway. There is an incredible amount of community engagement and right now is the perfect opportunity to use this gorgeous river as a case study for adaptive management of water.
    1. Prevent contamination of the State’s water supply by rerouting oil tankers .
    2. Fully armor the auxiliary spillway and model it after the Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway, which provides flexibility in elevation at which water can be released.
    3. Advocate for whitewater weekends, all summer long!

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