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NFC: Fw: RiverCurrents: April 5, 2002

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: American Rivers <action at action_amrivers.org>
To: robertrice at juno_com
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 12:59:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RiverCurrents: April 5, 2002
Message-ID: <7246996.1018040369734.JavaMail.IWAM_EUG-APP01@eug-app01>

RiverCurrents: April 5, 2002

Brought to you by www.americanrivers.org: 
The online community for river activists and river friends

AOL KEYWORD: American Rivers

* Nation's Most Endangered Rivers of 2002 announced

* Take Action
* Adopt a River

* Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers

* Lewis & Clark return to the Missouri River!

* Your ideas keep coming!

* Earth Day approaches
* RiverWalk along the Hudson

* Why students need clean water

* Check out the latest additions

* A funny gag? You be the judge.



American Rivers this week released its 17th annual Most Endangered 
Rivers report. The Army Corps of Engineers' operations of a huge 
dam and reservoir system have once again put the Missouri River at 
the top of the list. In the report, these dams and other Army Corps 
water projects are cited as leading threats to rivers nationwide.

Click here for more on the report:

***The Most Endangered Rivers of 2002***

1) Missouri River

Location: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, 
Kansas, Missouri
Threat: Dam Operations

The Missouri, America's longest river, was the river Lewis and Clark 
followed west on their epic journey. The river was once a haven for 
fish, birds, and wildlife. But today, six dams operated by the Army 
Corps of Engineers have significantly altered the river's natural 
flows and destroyed habitat. 
Read more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/missouri2002.htm 

2) Big Sunflower River

Location: Mississippi 
Threat: Flood Control Projects

The Big Sunflower is a lazy, serpentine river that meanders through a 
sparsely populated region of Mississippi. The river is home to one of 
the most abundant native mussel beds in the world and some 55 species 
of fish. The river's rich wetlands are an important destination for 
wintering waterfowl and are vital to a host of other wildlife. The 
river is threatened by a pair of boondoggle flood control projects 
that would drain wetlands and destroy habitat. Read more: 

3) Klamath River

Location: Oregon and California
Threat: Water Withdrawal and Pollution

The Klamath provides important fish, bird, and wildlife habitat in 
the arid region straddling Oregon and California. Often called the 
"Everglades of the West," 80% of the birds migrating along the 
Flyway stop along the Klamath to rest or feed. But excessive water 
withdrawals are sapping the river's ability to sustain life. Its 
salmon populations have dropped to less than 8% of their historic 
averages. Read more: 

4) Kansas River

Location: Kansas
Threat: Pollution; Removal of Clean Water Act Protections

The Kansas River, affectionately known as "the Kaw," may be the 
state's best- and least protected- recreational treasure. 
the water in the Kansas River is absolutely filthy. Pollutants such 
as fecal coliform bacteria often reach concentrations of 10 to 50 
times that allowed by the state. Read more: 

5) White River

Location: Arkansas 
Threat: Navigation and Irrigation Projects 

One of the ecologically richest areas in the continental United 
States, the White River flows from the Ozark Mountains to expansive 
bottomland hardwood swamps, oxbow lakes, and countless sloughs 
and backwater areas. The area is the nation's most important 
wintering area for mallard ducks. It's also home to Arkansas' 
only population of native black bears that often hibernate and 
give birth to their cubs in hollow trees high above the flooded 
forest floor. Navigation and irrigation projects threaten to destroy 
habitat by turning the river into an over-engineered canal. Read 
more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/white2002.htm

6) Powder River

Location: Wyoming 
Threat: Coal Bed Methane Extraction

The Powder River is a healthy remnant of the once vast and unspoiled 
river ecosystem that spanned the Great Plains. The sagebrush and 
mixed grass prairie of the Powder River basin supports abundant elk, 
mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bobcat, swift fox, and imperiled black-
tailed prairie dogs. The river is threatened by the coal bed methane 
industry, which could damage water quality. Read more: 

7) Altamaha River

Location: Georgia
Threat: Reservoir and Power Plant Construction

The Altamaha, a "wetlands wilderness," winds through bottomland 
hardwoods, cypress swamps, and tidal marshes. The river is home 
to more than 100 rare, threatened, or endangered species, seven 
of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The river 
is threatened by Metro Atlanta's seemingly insatiable demand for 
services such as drinking water and electricity. Read more: 

8) Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Location: Maine
Threat: Removal from the Wild and Scenic Rivers System; Loss of 
Wilderness Values

Once the crown jewel of the nation's Wild and Scenic Rivers System, 
the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is home to rare mammals such as 
the lynx and pine marten, as well as river otter, moose, and black 
bear. A large variety of birds nest along its shores, and the clear, 
cold water provides ideal habitat for native brook trout. The river 
is threatened by certain legislators who want to strip away the 
river's protections. 
Read more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/allagash2002.htm

9) Canning River

Location: Alaska 
Threat: Oil and Gas Exploration and Development

The Canning River is the largest river of Alaska's Arctic National 
Wildlife Refuge. Many bears make their maternity dens in snow drifts 
on the Canning's banks. The famed Porcupine caribou herd also spends 
time in the braided river floodplains. Should the U.S. Senate vote 
to allow oil and gas exploration and drilling in the refuge, the 
Canning River would be the first to feel the consequences -- the 
industry would pump millions of gallons of water from lakes in its 
delta, dig huge gravel mines in its floodplain, and disturb wildlife 
-- with the threat of a catastrophic oil spill looming in the 
Read more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/canning2002.htm

10) Guadalupe River

Location: Texas 
Threat: Water Diversion

The Guadalupe and its sister river, the San Marcos, are favorites 
with anglers, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts, and support 
diverse aquatic plant and animal life. The Guadalupe's fresh water 
is vital to the health of San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay, home 
to the endangered whooping crane. If the state of Texas chooses 
to siphon off and sell the Guadalupe's water to fuel development, 
there will be profound consequences for the river and its estuary. 
Read more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/guadalupe2002.htm

11) Apalachicola River

Location: Florida
Threat: Navigation and Water Withdrawals

Countless sloughs and side channels branch off the Apalachicola 
River, supporting a rich floodplain ecology of expansive bottomland 
hardwood forests, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. The river basin is 
an important sport fishery and is home to some of the highest 
densities of reptiles and amphibians on the continent. But in a 
futile effort to maintain a commercial shipping channel that is 
barely used, the Army Corps of Engineers is steadily destroying 
the river by scouring the river bottom, dumping the dredge material 
in sensitive habitat, and aggressively manipulating the river's flow. 
Read more: http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/apalachicola2002.htm



1) Take Action

The 11 rivers on this year's Most Endangered Rivers list
need your help! Send a free email to key decision-makers:

2) Adopt a River
Your donation of $20 or more will give you full membership in 
American Rivers -- and 100% of your gift will be passed through 
to the Most Endangered Rivers partner group or groups working 
locally on your "adopted" river!


American Rivers President Rebecca Wodder speaks about this 
year's most endangered rivers:

"...in researching this year's report we were amazed to learn 
that the same threat, over the years, has either caused or 
contributed to almost 60% of the listings of America's Most 
Endangered Rivers. This threat is a single organization, that 
astonishingly, works for you. It's a federal agency - the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers..."   

Read more:



Lewis and Clark return to the Missouri River! 

What kinds of changes do they see?

Help these fearless explorers complete their modern-day




It's easy to feel overwhelmed when confronted with the 
environnmental problems our country faces. But instead of 
throwing in the towel, RiverCurrents readers are proving 
that individuals can make a difference and bring positive
change to their homes and communities.

This week, four readers share their own tips for living 
in a more "river-friendly" way.

If you have water and/or energy conservation ideas of your 
own, please email them to asouers at amrivers_org and we'll 
share them here.

1) Be resourceful!

We use a container that is normally used for collecting old motor oil 
during an oil change. It holds about 2 gallons of water. It has drain 
hole in its side. We lay it flat on the shower floor and let it 
collect water until the water is hot. We then plug the drain hole and 
use the water for plants. Most automotive supply stores have them.

We move the plastic clothes washer drain from its normal position in 
the house drain and put it into a large wash tub. We use a detergent 
that does not harm plants. If you want clear water you can just 
capture the rinse water from the washer. Be careful: It takes a bit 
of timing and you have to keep an eye on it.

-- J. Pitcherella

2) Be creative!

When my Maytag dies (17 yrs old this fall) I plan to look into
getting an old fashioned wringer washer.  There are also other high
tech, low water usage washers in alternative-type catalogs.  the
trouble is, they tend to be up-front expensive.

We have a bigger-than-a-breadbox reverse osmosis water filter system
mounted on a shelf over the laundry tub.  The drip is caught in a
bucket in the tub sink and goes into the washer instead of down the
drain.  With a family of four, drinking water and wearing clothes, we
come out about even! (also catches the overflow when I forget and
let it run over!)

While this may be going too far for some people, we follow the old,
"if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down"
rule--unless company is over.

Most of my houseplants are in plastic (secondhand) pots instead of 
clay--takes twice as long to dry out.

In warm weather I get wet under the shower, shut it off and wash,
turn it back on to rinse.  (I'm a wimp in the winter though)  we do
have a flow restrictor (a washer-like dealie) in the showerhead.

-- J. Shelton

3) Be natural!

Another idea for people who live in the country is to use a 
biodegradable, non toxic laundry products (such as Shaklee) for 
washing clothes and then routing the dirty water to water gardens and 
lawns, etc.

We also use these products for cleaning the house and discard the 
water on house plants. It really makes them flourish. 
-- O. Corley

4) Be efficient!

Use landscaping plants native to your area.  If you live in an arid 
or semi-arid climate such plants are adapted to survive periodic 
water stress without irrigation unlike traditional lawn grasses and 
ornamental plants and shrubs from places like western Europe.

Reduce showering duration and frequency.  If you cut your showering 
time from 5-10 minutes to 1-3 minutes you would save 50% or more 
water every shower.

Reduce the amount of chemicals that you put down household drains.  
Every chemical substance put down drains including soaps, shampoo, 
paints, solvents, and even some food residue must be removed from 
wastewater by municipal treatment plants (unless you have a septic 
system).  Removal of chemicals from water requires more water for 
purification and dilution.

-- D. Busemeyer



1) Earth Day:
American Rivers is compiling a list of river events being
organized to celebrate Earth Day (April 22). If you're 
planning an event for your river, please send us the details. 
We will publish the full "Earth Day River Events" list in the 
coming weeks. 

You can send your event info to outreach at amrivers_org.

2) RiverWalk

This spring, when we welcome the summer on Memorial Day Weekend, all 
members of the Hudson River Valley Community are invited to 
participate in a walk down the eastern shore of the Hudson River. 
RiverWalk will stretch from Poughkeepsie to New York City, and will 
serve not only as a way to celebrate springtime in the Hudson Valley, 
but also to spread awareness of local issues indicative of larger 
problems that affect each and every member of the region.
For more information visit http://www.riverwalk2002.org



"Why students need clean water" Essay Contest

The Clean Water Network is looking for students in grades K-12 to 
write essays, short stories or poems about why clean water is 
important to them. The prize is a trip to Washington, DC in October.  
The deadline has been extended to the end of April. 

For more information, please visit 
http://www.cwn.org/docs/30thanniversary/essay.htm or 
contact lchrist at nrdc_org, 202-289-2422.



We've added a new song about the Great Kankakee, plus
some more readers' favorites!




On April 1, residents in Olathe, Kansas woke up to reports
that the city's water supply was contaminated, unfit for 
drinking or bathing.

As reports the Kansas City Star (4-2-02), Radio station KQRC (98.9) 
said that the water contained "high levels of a naturally occurring 
substance," dihydrogen monoxide, that causes increased urination, 
profuse sweating and wrinkling of hands and feet. Boiling the water 
long enough would get rid of the substance, however.

City officials received 150 phone calls and 30 residents called 911.

But as it turns out, it was all an April Fools joke. Officials called 
the gag by DJs Johnny Dare and Murphy Wells irresponsible and said it
jeopardized public safety.

Neal Mirsky, KQRC program director, told the Star, "We didn't intend 
for any of this. We thought a couple of people would go to work 
without a shower."

As reports the Star, "Technically they had their facts straight. 
Dihydrogen monoxide, after all, is a scientific name for water. 
It can cause the "symptoms" described, and boiling will make it 
go away."



RiverCurrents is a weekly summary of river news and information as 
reported by media outlets and other sources across the country. The 
inclusion of a story or point of view in RiverCurrents does not 
necessarily indicate endorsement by American Rivers. Unless American 
Rivers' position is clearly indicated, stories or points of view 
expressed in RiverCurrents are solely those of the groups and 
individuals named and not those of American Rivers. 

If you have questions or corrections about a story in RiverCurrents, 
please send them to Editor Amy Souers at asouers at amrivers_org.

Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and 
restore America's rivers.

To contact American Rivers, email Rebecca Sherman at 
outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550, ext. 3052.

For the latest results of your actions, visit

To update your information, please visit 

Encourage friends to become online river activists by visiting 

To become a member of American Rivers, visit 

Find free online resources, toolkits, and ways to unite with other 
activists on your important issues.
Join the nation's online river community at 

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