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EPA: 55% of US Streams, Rivers in Bad Shape
Survey finds just a fifth of waterways in good health
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2013 12:36 AM CDT
A set of steps from a fishing dock leads into the polluted Flack Rock River in Columbus, Ind.    (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(Newser) – America's millions of miles of rivers and streams are in terrible shape, an extensive Environmental Protection Agency survey has found. After sampling close to 2,000 locations ranging from the Mississippi to tiny streams, the EPA found that just a fifth of rivers and streams are in good enough biological shape to support healthy populations of aquatic life, the AP reports. Some 23% were classed as fair and a shocking 55% were considered poor.

Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus levels were among the biggest problems found, with conditions worse in the East than the West, the Los Angeles Times reports. Only 26% of rivers and streams were classed as poor in Western mountain areas, while 70% of rivers and streams from the Texas coast to New Jersey were in poor condition. "We must continue to invest in protecting and restoring our nation's streams and rivers as they are vital sources of our drinking water, provide many recreational opportunities, and play a critical role in the economy," an EPA spokeswoman says.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
right2dave
Apr 7, 2013 7:28 PM CDT
At least they are still there....China?
iq145
Mar 28, 2013 12:34 AM CDT
If you don't want to see animals not getting hurt, you're considered crazy. You want clean drinking water, you're a troublemaker. If you'd like less pollution in the air, you're a problem. Less garbage, more recycling. Those are negatives! An old Cree Indian Prophecy: Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
OWLWOMANXXXX
Mar 27, 2013 1:20 PM CDT
when there are no more fish and wildlife...and the soil will not support plantlife....what will money be able to buy?