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EnvironmentalBy Trista -

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
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Buffalo National River, Arkansas

This river winds through the Ozark Mountains and has become a popular tourist destination for fishers and kayakers. However, it is not climate change that’s threatening the quality of the river. Instead, the presence of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation run by C&H Hog Farms is the real problem.

To be more specific, it is because of hog poop. The feces are washed away into one of the tributaries that leads into the river, contaminating it with E. Coli and blooms of algae that can choke the natural life of the river. Because of this, the state has denied a permit to C&H to continue operation, but they appealed the decision by the court and are still running to this day.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Wikimedia Commons

Big Darby Creek, Ohio

The creek flows outside of Columbus, Ohio and empties into the Lower Scioto River. It serves as a breeding ground and home for rare fish and mussels, as well as being a relaxing ride for canoe-goers.

However, urban development has threatened the habitat of those that dwell in the tributary. Areas around the creek have been kept safe from development, but some builders are working just outside of the boundaries. Citizens are concerned that sewer runoff from these developments will contaminate the water supply. Builders have argued that their project is necessary because of the housing shortage.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Wikimedia Commons

Stikine River, Alaska

The Stikine River is the fastest free-flowing river in North America and runs from British Columbia all the way to southeast Alaska. It is also the primary water source for several indigenous tribes in the area. This river is one of the hot spots in Alaska when it comes to boating down the river.

However, it is threatened with active mining, which can send toxic metals into the water. Also, because the area is seismically active, that makes the chances of something going wrong even higher. Indigenous communities have petitioned the U.S. government to review the situation and come up with a solution to keep the river protected.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Wikimedia Commons

Smith River, Montana

Smith River runs through a limestone canyon, housing wild trout. It is 60 miles long, so it offers a fantastic multi-day trip of floating or boating that visitors definitely enjoy. However, people have to get a permit first before they can enjoy everything this river has to offer.

The purpose of the permit is to keep any impact on the river at a minimum by keeping it maintained. This idea continues to make the area profitable so that it can continue belonging to the people instead of being mined by Sandfire Resources America. A permit was acquired to develop an underground copper mine, which environmentalists have fought against for years. Hopefully, the laws put into place will ensure that the mine is designed in such a way that the quality of the water is not affected.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Flickr

Apalachicola River, Florida

It was placed on the endangered list of rivers in 2016, when it was shared between Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. This notion was on the basis that the Apalachicola River had outdated water management systems that were not effective at getting the job done. In turn, the governors of all three states to quickly sign an agreement to share water and protect local rivers.

The problem really resided with Georgia being more upstream and requiring more water for the city’s use, leaving Florida’s river and bay drier than usual. Agreements have been arrived at since then to help control the flow of water without depriving either state of meeting their needs.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Flickr

Colorado River, Colorado

The Colorado River is vast, encompassing parts of seven states in America and two Mexican states. However, the river, which is approximately 1,450 miles long is endanger. Since settlers decided to move out west, the Colorado River has never met the Pacific Ocean. It is used as a supply of drinking water for over 36 million people. Tourists also enjoy rafting down the river, and it is home to many species of fish and birds.

However, because of its extensive use in also watering crops, there is the threat of it running dry. Efforts have been taken by many conservation organizations to keep the river thriving and preventing it from drying out from overuse.

Beautiful US Rivers That Might be at Risk
Flickr

St. Louis River, Minnesota

If you are looking for wildlife, the St. Louis River is home to moose, timber wolves, northern pike, black crappie, and wood turtles, just to name a few of the species in the area. And that list does not even mention any of the 163 bird species that live around it too. One hundred ninety-four miles long, the river leads to Lake Superior, which is one of the largest tributaries in the Great Lakes system.

The lower side of the river is excellent for whitewater rafting too, but it was once heavily impacted by industry, leading to it becoming one of the most polluted waterways in the state. It took roughly one billion dollars to completely restore it, though there are still dams used for hydropower that interfere with the fish and increase the accumulation of mercury in their systems.

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