Huffpost Green
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Wm. Robert Irvin Headshot

Ten Most Endangered Rivers of 2012 (PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated:

With Congress considering bills that would turn back the clock on 40 years of progress under the Clean Water Act, and rivers nationwide facing threats from natural gas drilling, pollution, and new dams, American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers.

American Rivers named the Potomac River, known as 'the nation's river' as it flows past our nation's capital in Washington, D.C., the most endangered in the country. While the Potomac is cleaner than it used to be, the river is still threatened by urban and agricultural pollution -- and it could get much worse if Congress rolls back critical clean water safeguards.

As our country commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act this year, the
Potomac is emblematic of what's at stake for rivers nationwide. American Rivers launched a national call to action, giving citizens the opportunity to contact members of Congress and speak up for clean water.

This year's America's Most Endangered Rivers list underscores how important clean water is to our drinking water, health, and economy. If Congress slashes clean water protections, more Americans will get sick and communities and businesses will suffer. We simply cannot afford to go back to a time when the Potomac and rivers nationwide were too polluted to use.

America's Most Endangered Rivers® of 2012:

#1: Potomac River (MD, VA, PA, WV, DC)
Threat: Pollution
At risk: Clean water and public health

#2: Green River (WY, UT, CO)
Threat: Water withdrawals
At risk: Recreation opportunities and fish and wildlife habitat

#3: Chattahoochee River (GA)
Threat: New dams and reservoirs
At risk: Clean water and healthy fisheries

#4: Missouri River (IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, SD, WY)
Threat: Outdated flood management
At risk: Public safety

#5: Hoback River (WY)
Threat: Natural gas development
At stake: Clean water and world-class fish and wildlife

#6: Grand River (OH)
Threat: Natural gas development
At risk: Clean water and public health

#7: South Fork Skykomish River (WA)
Threat: New dam
At risk: Habitat and recreation

#8: Crystal River (CO)
Threat: Dams and water diversions
At risk: Fish, wildlife, and recreation

#9: Coal River (WV)
Threat: Mountaintop removal coal mining
At risk: Clean water and public health

#10: Kansas River (KS)
Threat: Sand and gravel dredging
At risk: Public health and wildlife habitat

From Our Partners