Five Ways to Value a River

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5 Ways to Value a River:
Frankly, my dear, we must take down a dam
by Mickey Z.
The United States is home to more than 250,000 rivers. Of those 3.5 million miles of river:

* 235,000 miles have been channelized

* More than 600,000 miles are impounded behind dams
 
* More than 25,000 miles have been dredged for navigation
 

Add to that the fact that roughly 40% of US rivers and streams are too polluted for fishing and swimming and well, you'll have an idea of how some choose to look at a river.
 
[For complete article reference links, please see source at Planet Green here.]


 
 
Reality Check: River Pollution



WATCH VIDEO: The Mississippi River Delta

For others, of course, rivers provide habitat, freshwater, recreation, and contemplation. They offer continuity and a sense of history. Rivers mean transportation, connection, and boundaries. Rivers link mountain peaks with ocean depths.

Rivers rock:

5 Ways to Look at a River

1. Toxic Dump

Even after two decades of participation in the National Estuary Program, a federally funded environmental protection effort, the lower Columbia River habitat between Oregon and Washington "continues to suffer from decades-old applications of the banned agricultural pesticide DDT (dichloro diphenyl tichloroethane), restricted industrial insulators and lubricants (PCBs) Polychlorinated biphenyls, and chemical compounds PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), found in petroleum and its byproducts."

2. Dammed

More than 45,000 large dams (45 feet or higher) were built in the 20th century and these structures are a serious green issue that impacts all life on earth. Dams are expensive, destructive, and ineffective. In California alone, dams have resulted in the loss of 90% of that state's river environment and 95% of the salmon and steelhead habitat—all at a cost fifty times higher than more efficient solutions.


3. Vulnerable

According to American Rivers: "The impacts of global warming will hit rivers first and worst, in the form of increased droughts, floods, and waterborne diseases."

4. Safe Haven

Of the 1200 US species listed as threatened or endangered, 50% depend on rivers and streams.

5. Inspiration

Just ask Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen and David Byrne...to name but a few.

 
Links for Ripple Effect
 

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