X

US /

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
EPA: Over Half of US Streams, Rivers in Bad Shape
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.

story continues below

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. (Read more river stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X