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The San Joaquin River Is The Nation's Most Endangered River

Chris Beaver / Submitted

Chris Beaver / Submitted

The San Joaquin River is No. 1 on the list of America's Most Endangered Rivers. The future of the river might be determined this year.

The environmental group American Rivers has released its annual list of "America's Most Endangered Rivers."

The San Joaquin River is at the top of the list, not because it's the worst, or most polluted, but because of critical decisions that will determine its future.

John Cain of American Rivers says the house has passed a bill that will stop the river's restoration. 

"And simply cutting environmental rules is not going to solve the underlying problem that we're using water unsustainably today." Cain says the river is overtapped.

He says that endangers fish, and creates uncertainty for farmers and communities who depend upon the San Joaquin River for drinking water.

Cain says the drought this year will add to the problem and some stretches of the San Joaquin River could go dry.

"Definitely a river with no flows when it's California's second largest river is reason to stand up and ask what are we doing wrong."

The report concludes that California's Department of Water Resources must act this year to increase water flows.  


Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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