Levee break in Winfield, MO | Photo by Nancy Guyton
Levee break in Winfield, MO | Photo by Nancy Guyton

#3: Upper Mississippi River

Threat: Illegal Levee Development, Climate Change

End illegal levee raises that hurt people and our environment.


The Upper Mississippi River is vital to the nation’s economy and is a globally significant ecosystem. However, this iconic river is threatened by illegal raises to the levee system that cut the river off from more than 170,000 acres of floodplain, increasing flood risk for communities and degrading vital fish and wildlife habitat. In order to safeguard communities and restore river health, state and federal agencies must enforce laws that prohibit reckless raising of levees and prioritize use of natural and nature-based flood protection solutions.

Flooding on the Upper Mississippi River | Photo by Talia Long

Flooding on the Upper Miss. | Photo by Talia Long

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • Prairie Rivers Network
  • Sierra Club
  • Great Rivers Habitat Alliance
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Missouri Coalition for the Environment


2019 Most Endangered Rivers Infographic