Most U.S. Rivers Are Polluted, and Getting Worse

A new study conducted by the EPA shows that 55 percent of the nation's rivers are in "poor" condition, and only 21 percent are rated as "good" and "healthy biological communities." Farm and industrial pollution are to blame.

"A new report by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the majority of rivers and streams in this country can't support healthy aquatic life and the trend is going in the wrong direction," writes Dashiell Bennett. "Even worse, the number of rivers and streams that qualify as 'good' went down seven precent between 2004 and 2009."

"The reason for these failing grades is, of course, pollution; specifically, phosphorus and nitrogen pollution that comes from fertilizer and wastewater run-off. Those chemicals, which come from farms and industrial sites, choke off healthy plant growth, which turn leads to more soil erosion, more flooding, and unhealthy fish and wildlife," explains Bennett.

"The worst areas for river pollution are the Northeast and deep South, where a shocking 71 percent of rivers rated 'poor.'"

Full Story: Half of All U.S. Rivers Are Too Polluted for Our Health

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00