April 7, 2009

California’s Rivers Considered Most Endangered

California's two lengthiest rivers have been labeled the United States' most endangered watercourses from archaic water supervision and subpar flood preparation, states an environmental advocacy group.

American Rivers chose the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers as their end might jeopardize the water supply of 25 million Californians, flood Sacramento, and spoil the fragile freshwater delta where the two rivers meet.

"The health of the delta depends directly on maintaining the health of these two rivers that feed it," Steve Rothert, the California director, said to AP News.

The organization compiles a list of the most endangered rivers from nominations and reviews the importance of every river to individuals and the environment, the adversity it faces and future plans that might affect it, Rothert said.

However, Jerry Johns, deputy director at the Department of Water Resources, says that the title does not allow for sufficient deliberation of attempts to repair the health of the delta.

Pennsylvania and Alaska rivers also are on the 2009 list. This included Georgia's Flint River, the Lower Snake River in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, Mattawoman Creek in Maryland and the Flathead River in Montana.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed a wilderness bill that puts into effect a 2006 legal resolution to help water and Chinook salmon flourish in San Joaquin Valley's rive. It gives the area $390 million in funds to the area over the next decade.

The lawsuit emerged from the building of Friant Dam in 1949, which morphed the San Joaquin Valley from a river abundant with salmon into an irrigation foundation.


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