These are the nation's most endangered rivers

(By: Jose Sepulveda)

Did you know that rivers can be endangered just like animals? With global warming, fracking and other factors contributing to lower water levels, an environmental group called American Rivers has come up with a list of the most endangered rivers in the U.S.

These rivers aren't the most polluted, but placed on the list based on the significance they have on human and natural communities nearby, the size of the threat and decisions that the public can help influence in the coming year.

America's most endangered rivers
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America's most endangered rivers

10. Menominee River

  • Threat: Open pit sulfide mining 
  • Source: American Rivers 

(ImagesbyK via Getty Images)

9. Buffalo National River

  • Threat: Pollution from massive hog farm
  • Source: American Rivers 

(Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)

8. Middle Fork Flathead River

  • Threat: Oil transport by rail
  • Source: American Rivers

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

7.  Neuse and Cape Fear rivers

  • Threat: Industrial agriculture waste in floodplains 
  • Source: American Rivers

 (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

6. Green-Toutle River

  • Threat: Hardrock mining
  • Source: American Rivers

(WestWindGraphics via Getty Images) 

5. Rappahannock River

  • Threat: Fracking
  • Source: American Rivers 

(Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

4. Mobile Bay Basin

  • Threat: Poor water management
  • Source: American Rivers 

(Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

3. South Fork Skykomish River

  • Threat: New hydropower project
  • Source: American Rivers 

(Richard Cummins via Getty Images)

2. Bear River

  • Threat: New dam 
  • Source: American Rivers 

(Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

1. Lower Colorado River 

  • Threat: Water scarcity and demand
  • Source: American Rivers 

(lisandrotrarbach via Getty Images)


At the top of the list is the Lower Colorado River, which runs through three states and provides the water that cultivates about 90% of the country's winter vegetables.

The reason it's topping the list is because it is being "over tapped," meaning that the demand for its water is outweighing the supply.

Matt Rice of American Rivers tells USA Today, "the Lower Colorado is the lifeblood of the region and grows food for Americans nationwide, but the river is at a breaking point."

Also on the list are Bear River in California in second place because of a new dam, the South Fork Skykomish River in Washington in third place because of a new hydropower plant, the Mobile Bay rivers of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi in fourth for poor water management and the Rappahannock River in Virginia in fifth because of fracking.

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