America’s Most Endangered Rivers 2019 Highlights

It’s been a big week.

South Fork Salmon River | Photo by Daniel Patrinellis

Last Tuesday, American Rivers released our annual report on America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. Have you had a chance to read about the rivers? You can check out all 10 of them here (don’t forget to TAKE ACTION while you are there)!

People across the country have expressed concern over these special places that are threatened by issues from water diversions to mining and dams to flood management and rampant development. A threat to all of the rivers across the country, climate change, was discussed in our announcement blog earlier this week.

One of the best things about our report on America’s Most Endangered Rivers® is that people… YOU… can do something to help. You can make an impact by going to our ACTION CENTER and sending quick emails to decision-makers on behalf of this year’s 10 endangered rivers. Please share these actions with your friends on social media as well so that we can really make an impact for these rivers!

Do you want to do more? Our supporters make it possible for us to highlight these challenges facing rivers year after year. We would love your support through a donation today. Thank you in advance.

Buffalo National River | Photo by Angela Peace
Buffalo National River | Photo by Angela Peace

Now we can talk about why this has been a great week. First, as part of our report, we announced a success story through our River of the Year, the Cuyahoga in Ohio. The LOVE for this river has been pouring out from local residents and businesses. People are proud of how far this river has come in 50 years. Check out this great story from Yahoo News. You’ll be hearing more about this river in the coming months as we celebrate this important milestone.

On to the Top 10! The Weather Channel did a nice rundown of the full list of rivers, if you’d like a quick synopsis.

Our #1 river this year is the Gila River in New Mexico. The Gila is threatened by a massive water diversion project that could drain a significant amount of water from the river and leave downstream communities, farms and wildlife high and dry. As it is, this place is predicted to become ever drier as the climate changes and snowpack levels decrease over time. Heather Hansman at Outside Magazine discusses these challenges in this article. Also, if you really want to learn more about the history of the diversion project, you can check out this article in the New Mexico Political Report. In addition, we appreciated this statement from the Hispanic Access Foundation on the importance of the Gila to Latinx communities.

Lower Green River | Photo by Ned Ahrens
Lower Green River | Photo by Ned Ahrens

American Rivers’ staffer David Moryc was out on Oregon’s Willamette River this week, talking on the news about the conflicts between dams and migrating salmon and steelhead. Another one of our staff members, Eileen Shader, can be heard on National Public Radio discussing issues with floodplain management and raising levees on the Upper Mississippi River in this clip.

The North Jersey Record discusses the various options on the table for placing storm surge barriers in the Hudson River. We want to make sure that climate change impacts beyond storm surge, such as sea level rise, are addressed in an environmentally sustainable way as part of this planning effort in the Hudson.

Flooding, climate change, and levees were also highlighted on Washington’s Green-Duwamish River this year. You can hear more about it in this clip.

Chilkat River | Photo by Colin Arisman
Chilkat River | Photo by Colin Arisman

American Rivers has two rivers in Alaska on the list this year— the Chilkat and the Stikine. Mining threatens native and local communities and salmon who depend on these rivers to survive. Kimberley Strong, President of the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan, discusses the concerns of the tribes in this piece.

Mining is also an issue for Idaho’s South Fork of the Salmon River, which has made the list for a repeat second year in a row. You can read about it in this article. Another repeat is Arkansas’ Buffalo National River, which we thought was saved when a hog farm permit was denied by the state, but then a legal battle ensued. We need the Governor of Arkansas to hold strong and protect the health of the river! You can hear more about that story here.

Last, but certainly not least, the Big Darby Creek near Columbus, Ohio, is threatened by a big development project. You can read more about the issues surrounding that project here.

We can’t make a difference for these rivers without your help! Please don’t forget to TAKE ACTION NOW and share with your friends so that we can save these magnificent rivers!

One response to “America’s Most Endangered Rivers 2019 Highlights

  1. The Caloosahatchee in SW Florida should most definitely be on the list! What happens to that poor river each year when polluted water is released from Lake Okeechobee should be illegal! The blue-green algae causes immense damage to the fish and other wildlife population, the economic loss is horrendous, air quality from algae toxins sicken people who live near the river and canals, I could go on and on.

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