America's 'Most Endangered River' in 2020: The Mighty Mississippi

Heavy flooding are expected to strain the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in Spring 2020, just as resources are stretched thin by the coronavirus.

Read Time: 2 minutes

April 15, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


The 2020 list of America's Most Endangered Rivers, published annually by American Rivers, includes sections of two of the most environmentally, geographically, economically, historically, and culturally significant rivers in the United States—the Mississippi and the Missouri. 

A year after catastrophic following up and down the Mississippi River watershed, projections for flooding along the two watershed look dire again. In 2020 that risk is combined with the added public health threat of the coronavirus, influencing the selections on the list this year. Here's the complete list, with links to detailed pages for each:

  1. Upper Mississippi River
  2. Lower Missouri River
  3. Big Sunflower River, Mississippi
  4. Puyallup River, Washington
  5. South Fork Salmon River, Idaho
  6. Menominee River, Michigan and Wisconsin
  7. Rapid Creek, South Dakota
  8. Okefenoke Swamp and St. Marys River, Georgia and Florida
  9. Ocklawaha River, Florida
  10. Lower Youghiogheny River, Pennsylvania

While climate change and flooding are the risks mentioned for the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, mining is listed as the threat for the plurality of rivers listed here.

American Rivers is a national advocacy organization devoted to the protection, restoration, and conservation of the country's watersheds. Planetizen shared news of previous Endangered Rivers lists in 2019, 2018, and 2015. The mainstream media also picked up coverage of the 2020 list, including with the following articles:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 in American Rivers

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