America’s 250,000 rivers are in serious trouble. Nearly 40% of U.S. rivers are too polluted for recreation, fish or aquatic wildlife. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, more than 50% of our wetlands, which purify and recharge groundwater, have been destroyed. 1.2 trillion gallons of industrial waste, raw sewage, and stormwater go into U.S. rivers annually. The EPA warns that sewage levels could be at super-polluted levels by 2016.
The Mississippi River (which drains nearly 40% of the U.S. including farm lands) carries 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico annually, creating a coastal deadzone the size of Massachusetts.
A wide variety of causes hurt America’s rivers, ranging from:
- sewage and industrial pollution being dumped into rivers yards and farms which includes animal waste, pesticides and fertilizers
- logging and mining operation waste, acid mine drainage and metal pollution
- fertilizers and chemicals on lawns that drain into rivers creating algae blooms and fish kills, sometimes in the millions
- industrial contaminants, waste and run-off, including mercury
- detergents, non-degradable products, motor oil and automotive fluid run-offs in storm drains
- marine debris pollution from boats, fuel, and garbage1, 2
Wildlife Damage (click on this link)