Calling All Endangered Rivers: Nominations Open

Help us identify America’s Most Endangered Rivers®

It’s been a rough year for the environment. We’re fighting off constant attacks that threaten the health of our rivers and clean drinking water.

Every year, American Rivers highlights threats to rivers across the country in 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 2018 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 Big Sunflower River, Bristol Bay Rivers, Middle Fork Vermilion River, and Mississippi Gorge. Still to come will be Boundary Waters (this month!), Colville River, Kinnickinnic River, South Fork Salmon River, and Smith River.

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for our 2019 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 2019 by nominating a river you think deserves to be included on our list. We are especially interested in highlighting threats this year which impact marginalized communities (although this is not a requirement for nomination).

Deadline for nominations is Friday, November 16, 2018. Please fill out this form and send to Emily Harris, who can also provide more information.

10 responses to “Calling All Endangered Rivers: Nominations Open

  1. I live near the Sebastian River in Florida. This has had massive amounts of pollution, due to pesticides and agricultural animal waste going into the storm drains and winding up in the river. They are trying to clean it up and we also have septic tanks not far from the river that empty into it. The most disgusting aspect is that people fish In this River and eat the fish. There have been cases of brain eating amoeba. This has been shown to be fatal in children. Although it’s cleaner than it has been in previous years, I don’t think there is enough being done to stop the run off and pesticides that continue to pollute it.

  2. I would like to nominate the Snake River, a major tributary of the Columbia River in WA state. The four lower Snake River dams need to come down to increase the chinook salmon population which will increase the food supply for our beloved Southern Resident Killer Whales who are starving to death. Unfortunately, there is little political will to remove these dams as Governor Inslee and his killer whale Task Forcej have come up with short term solutions that will do little to help the orcas. They are putting politics ahead of extinction, even though the public is clamoring for dam removal.

  3. I nominate the Colorado River as America’s most endangered. Huge dams on it ensure it doesn’t even make it to the ocean anymore.

  4. I would like to nominate the Snake River which is a tributary of the Columbia River. We desperately need to remove the four lower Snake River dams to bring back the chinook salmon population which will then increase the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ food supply. They are starving to death in front of our eyes and the powers that be and their Task Force keep coming up with short-term, politically easy “solutions” that will do very little if anything to save our salmon and orcas. Removing the dams are a political hot potato that politicians continue to shy away from and as they just want to kick the can down the road by studying the situation. The orcas are quickly running out of time and this has already been studied and evaluated as the best way to save the salmon back in 2002 with an extensive and still relevant EIS. If any river needs to have dams removed, it’s the Snake River.

  5. The middle fork of the Vermillion river needs to become a nationa conversation. It’s the only scenic waterway in Illinois but sits just a few feet away from three coal ash pits. The pits are visibly leaking. Streaks of purple and rust colored stains can be seen on the river banks adjacent to the coals ash pits. Water tests have proven there is contamination occurring. This problem needs be addressed by removing all of the coal ash. Some have proposed plans to cover the pits with dirt, out of sight out of mind, the contamination will remain in the watershed and leech into the river unless it it all completely removed. Please put the middle fork on your list!

    1. Thank you Frank. Agreed. This is in my own backyard. Along with water contamination, this is a threat to many species of birds and animals as well as to a loss of millions of dollars in recreation. It is the state’s only National Wild & Scenic River and deserves to be on the list!! There is another meeting with Dynegy on March 26th regarding the coal ash pits.

  6. The form would not come up for me. Please add the Colorado River to these endangered waters.
    We in Southern California depend on the waters we share with other States and peoples of this river.
    Carol Ray
    Fontana, California

  7. I believe the Gila River should be included. It is threatened by a diversion project in thexarid SW.
    It should be a candidate for a Wild and Scenic driver.

  8. Does this apply to private non traversable rivers? We are currently battling a German Company known for its EPA VIOLATIONS REGARDING A BIODIGESTOR in Michigan! They are wanting to put it on the Ninnescah River here in Ks near a known flood zone and several rural residents. I started the stewardship group to protect our river. We have Bald Eagles that live and nest here as well as begins a migration stop for whooping cranes… we need all the help we can get to keep her water as clean and free flowing as possible. She doesn’t have the millions of gallons of water to spare, nor do the residents and ag that require well usage in the area. I’m disheartened to not see a single river in Kansas labeled as protected…why is this? Sincerely, Ninnescah River Stewardship

  9. Poudre River threatened by dam construction and pipeline diversions

    South Platte River, there is funding for feasabiliy studies to build four reservoirs and two pumps to capture return flows in the river downstream of Denver and pump them back upstream.

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