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Boundary Waters, Mississippi placed on list of most endangered rivers

Published: Apr. 10, 2018 at 12:51 PM CDT
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A national river advocacy group has named two Minnesota rivers on its annual list of the most endangered rivers in the country.

American Rivers says that the Kawishiwi River in the Boundary Waters is under threat of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining and the Mississippi River Gorge is suffering from an outdated lock and dam system.

The group is encouraging voters to call on politicians in Congress to protect the Boundary Waters and to tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the dams in the Mississippi River Gorge should be removed.

According to American Rivers, at stake for the Boundary Waters is water quality and wildlife habitat. The group believes mining could damage the area’s outdoor tourism industry.

For the Mississippi River Gorge, the group sees the possibility of a revitalized, free-flowing Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota River confluence in Mendota.

The removal of dams could foster the return of wildlife to that area of the river as well as create recreation opportunities, such as rapid kayaking.

Also on this year’s Most Endangered Rivers list is the Kinnickinnic River in western Wisconsin. According to American Rivers, the beloved trout stream is suffering from dams, which, if removed, could lead to the recovery of parts of the river.

Other rivers on the 2018 list include the Rig Sunflower River in Mississippi, the Lower Rio Grande in Texas, and the rivers of Bristol Bay in Alaska.