Advertisement
 
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Amsterdam, NY ,

 

Advertisement

Rivers aren't out of the woods yet

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - Updated: 4:09 PM

American rivers are no longer treated as raw sewage and industrial waste dumping grounds. The Cuyahoga River no longer catches fire. Lake Erie has been resurrected (mostly) from the dead. All thanks to the Clean Water Act of 1972.

But, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, U.S. rivers aren't out of the woods just yet.

The report found that 55 percent of U.S. rivers and streams are in poor condition biologically and only 21 percent are in good health.

While the causes of poor river health can be many, the EPA report noted that the biggest culprits are nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus.

Normal amounts of nutrients may be good for rivers and aquatic life, but too much of a good thing increases algae growth, which decreases oxygen needed by other aquatic life.

The excess nitrogen and phosphorus, common ingredients in fertilizers, are coming from farms, livestock feeding operations, cities and sewers.

The report also found that 9 percent of waterways contained bacteria levels high enough to be a threat to human health, and it reaffirmed the high levels of mercury in fish in thousands of miles of U.S. rivers.

Surely we can do better. The Clean Water Act brought us a long way, but there's more to be done.

Yes, it costs money to keep our rivers clean and healthy. But it would cost considerably more to let them degrade further.

-- Loveland (Colo.) Daily Reporter-Herald

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
Subscribe to The Recorder

 

The Recorder Sports Schedule

Most Popular

    Area high school sports calendar
    Saturday, February 13, 2016

    Four face charges after fights at school
    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Concerns spark resignations
    Tuesday, February 09, 2016

    Officials express concern wage hike will hurt business
    Monday, February 08, 2016

    Family begins endowment to help Make-A-Wish kids
    Monday, February 08, 2016

    Donations lining up to help develop park in East End
    Monday, February 08, 2016

    Council plans to sell some foreclosures separately
    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    GASD narrows superintendent field to three
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Fonda, Fultonville face a deficit in the sewer budget
    Tuesday, February 09, 2016

    Gloversville man charged with murdering his wife
    Thursday, February 11, 2016

Advertisement

Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook