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Susquehanna Life

Susquehanna River: Most Endangered

Apr 13, 2016 10:09AM ● By Erica Shames
America’s Most Endangered Rivers is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates.

Over the years, the report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.This report identifies the 10 most threatened waterways in the country and highlights the urgent need for conservation, greater efficiency, and better management of water resources to prevent further harm to river health, wildlife, fish and recreation.

Fierce competition for water from rivers under ever greater strain from growing demand and the impacts of climate change is threatening the health of rivers across the country. As pressure on limited water resources grows, conflict must give way to cooperation if we are to satisfy the nations’ growing water needs and maintain clean and healthy rivers.

This year, American Rivers found that outdated and ineffective methods of water management threaten major river basins on both the east and west coasts. The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin, which includes portions of Alabama, Georgia and Florida, ranks number one on the list, followed by the San Joaquin River in California at number two.

More than eight million people depend on clean drinking water from these two systems combined, and water shortages threaten billions of dollars in agricultural production and fisheries.

The America’s Most Endangered Rivers list spotlights rivers facing urgent threats across the country. The Susquehanna River, for example, which flows through Pennsylvania and Maryland, is threatened by harmful dam operations. In Montana, the Smith River is at risk from a proposed mine and remains on the endangered list for a second year.

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(Photo credit: 
Edward J. Clear, copyright 1996)

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