Take Action Tuesday: American Rivers Announces America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2012

 Photo: James Kaiser courtesy of O.A.R.S.

Conservation Alliance grantee American Rivers today released its annual America's Most Endangered Rivers report.The report lists the 10 most endangered rivers in the US, and explains why these waterways are in peril. Topping this year's list is the Potomac, which flows through our nation’s capital. The Potomac earned the distinction as the most endangered river in the country because of pollution, and the fact that essential clean water protections are under attack in Congress.

"As ‘the nation’s river,’ the Potomac is emblematic of what’s at stake for rivers and public health nationwide," says the report.

Also on the list is the Green River, which flows through Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Conservation Alliance has supported American Whitewater in their efforts to protect rivers in Colorado, including the Green. Water developers have proposed to build a 500-mile long "Flaming Gorge Pipeline" that will send water from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range. Estimates for completing the Flaming Gorge pipeline range between $7 billion and $9 billion an amount that could be the highest of any water project in Colorado's history. The project could potentially divert more than 250,000 acre feet of water from the Green River annually— water that currently supports a robust recreation and tourism economy, rural agriculture, native species, and urban water use downstream.

Take Action!

The complete list of endangered rivers follows. Click here to take action to protect any and all of the rivers on the list!

  1. Potomac River (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington D.C.)
    Threat:  Pollution; Clean Water Act rollbacks
  2. Green River (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado)
    Threat:  Water withdrawals
  3. Chattahoochee River (Georgia)
    Threat:  New dams and reservoirs
  4. Missouri River (Colorado,Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming)
    Threat:  Outdated flood management
  5. Hoback River (Wyoming)
    Threat:  Natural gas development
  6. Grand River (Ohio)
    Threat:  Natural gas development
  7. South Fork Skykomish River (Washington)
    Threat:  New dam
  8. Crystal River (Colorado)
    Threat:  Dams and water diversions
  9. Coal River (West Virginia)
    Threat:  Mountaintop removal coal mining
  10. Kansas River (Kansas)
    Threat:  Sand and gravel dredging