Monday, June 7, 2010

10 American Rivers at Risk

1. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in California was second on the list. American Rivers cited two efforts to reenginer the water supply and flood control systems as threats to the delta. This photo shows the Sacramento River.

2. The Upper Colorado River

The Upper Colorado River could become “a shadow of its former self” if two new water diversion projects proceed, according to a report from the U.S. environmental group American Rivers. The river is on a list of the 10 most endangered waterways compiled by the group.

3. Coosa River in Alabama

Seven hydropower dams were built on the Coosa River in Alabama in the mid-1900s, but American Rivers wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to insist on protections for wildlife in the license for Alabama Power Co. to operate the dams for the next 50 years.

4. Cedar River in Cedar Rapids

A June 2008 image shows flooding along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The report says outdated flood management by the Army Corps of Engineers is hurting fish and wildlife habitat.

5. Gauley River

U.S. regulators should stop mountaintop mining in West Virginia that is hurting the Gauley River, American Rivers says. The river is known for its whitewater rafting.

6. Monongahela River

The view from the Hot Metal Bridge of downtown Pittsburgh, where the Monongahela River meets the Allegheny River to form the Ohio. The Monongahela is threated by pollution created by natural gas extraction.

7. Eastern Idaho’s Teton River

Eastern Idaho’s Teton River provides habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout, but there’s a proposal to rebuild the Teton Dam, which collapsed in 1976, killing 11 people and causing more than $1 billion in damage.

8.The Upper Delaware River

The Upper Delaware River is at the top of American Rivers’ endangered list. The group says the river in New York state, source for drinking water for 17 million people, is threatened by chemicals from natural gas drilling and poor flood management.

9. National Wild and Scenic Chetco River

National Wild and Scenic Chetco River in Oregon’s Kalmiopsis Wilderness and one of the areas proposed for mining.

10. North Carolina’s Little River

North Carolina’s Little River provides drinking water and irrigation supplies. A proposed dam would hurt the river’s health, American Rivers says.

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