Upper Colorado River | Photo by Russ Schnitzer (@SchnitzerPhoto)

A history of success


Each year since 1984, American Rivers’ report on America’s Most Endangered Rivers® has been a call to action for 10 rivers and waterways whose fates hang in the balance. The national campaign galvanizes thousands of people around the country to contact their elected officials to save rivers. And it shines the national media spotlight on issues that impact local lives and river ecosystems.

Paired with local activism, our national loudspeaker has spurred successes for rivers coast to coast. Together, we stopped fracking at the headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Hoback River in Wyoming. We forced a munitions plant on the Holston River in Tennessee to clean up groundwater pollution. And shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dams pose to fish and wildlife in the St. Lawrence River in New York helped spur a plan to improve water quality, support fisheries and bolster the region’s economy. Rivers like the Elwha, White Salmon and Penobscot were all once named America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. Today, they are nationally recognized dam removal and river restoration success stories.

When applied at the right moment, America’s Most Endangered Rivers® helps local leaders save their rivers, benefit entire ecosystems and improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Wins for America’s Most Endangered Rivers®