© 2024 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Upper Mississippi Named A "Most Endangered River"

Davenport's LeClaire Park is a natural area where the Mississippi River is allowed to flood.

Our stretch of the Mississippi is one of America's most endangered rivers. 
Collin Schopp reports.

American Rivers, an environmental advocacy gorup, released its annual list, and the Upper Mississippi River ranked third. This comes right in the middle of rampant spring flooding in the Midwest. 
Spokeswoman Eileen Shader says the Upper Mississippi's endangered status is related to flood management.

"In the past couple of years, it's been revealed that a number of these levees, about 80 miles worth of levees have been elevated about two to four feet above their authorized level," said Shader. "Unfortunately, the impact of raising levees means that you are pushing flood waters onto areas that don't have that same level of protection."

Credit American Rivers

Shader says that the first step to improving the river is recognizing the status quo is unacceptable. 
American Rivers says increasing levee height can also destroy the habitats of fish and wildlife, which are vital to the river. Climate change is also mentioned in the report as a cause of more frequent and severe flooding.

The advocacy group ranks New Mexico's Gila River and the Hudson River in New York as the top two most endangered rivers in America. 

I'm currently a Senior at Augustana College, working on majors in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Studies. In addition to interning at the station, I also work for the Augustana Observer, the college's official student newspaper, as a writer for the Arts and Entertainment section.