American Rivers announced their annual top 10 most endangered rivers.
American Rivers released the America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2021 report, and there’s plenty of work to do. From the Georgia to Massachusetts to Idaho, many rivers across the United States are threatened, with the potential of degraded water quality and ecology, and the loss of human life and property. The list of 10 Rivers can be seen below:
- Snake River in Idaho, Washington and Oregon
- Lower Missouri River in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
- Boundary Waters in Minnesota
- South River in Georgia
- Pecos River in New Mexico
- Tar Creek in Oklahoma
- McCloud River in California
- Ipswich River in Massachusetts
- Raccoon River in Iowa
- Turkey Creek in Mississippi
The Snake River in Idaho landed the top spot as the most at-risk river due to damming. The four reservoirs constructed retain water that heats up more readily than the river did in its natural state, which significantly harms the salmon population. As the salmon population plummets, it in turn harms the Native American tribes who live on the Snake River and depend salmon population for food.
At number eight, Massachusetts’ Ipswich River is endangered because too much water being overdrawn, particularly during the warmer months when the river flows are low from lack of rain. This water goes towards drinking and lawn watering, but the limits on withdrawals and water use are filled with exemptions. In addition, climate change in the area has increased the drought frequency, and higher withdrawals from the river during the drier months compounds problems during the Ipswich River’s lower flow.
But American Rivers offers hope. For every endangered river, they provide solutions. By shining a light on the challenges these diverse yet important rivers face, maybe the communities and public officials that surround it can rise to meet — and solve — those challenges.