A national conservation organization has included the Cedar River — which runs through Minnesota and Iowa — on a list of the country’s 10 most endangered rivers.
The Cedar starts in Dodge County and passes through Mower County and Austin, but mostly flows through Iowa, eventually connecting to the Iowa River and then the Mississippi River.
American Rivers has listed the Cedar as No. 5 on its list of endangered rivers, saying:
The Cedar River harbors globally rare plant communities, provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife, and is a popular destination for paddlers and anglers. However, outdated flood management and poor watershed planning are impacting public health and safety by causing pollution and increasing the risk of flood damage. The Army Corps of Engineers must prioritize lower cost, non-structural flood management solutions on the Cedar River. These natural solutions will help reduce flood damage, improve water quality, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and provide recreational opportunities and economic benefits while saving taxpayer dollars.
The group’s report largely addresses the river’s problems in Iowa, but a Cedar River Watershed District was formed three years ago to address flooding issues and improve water quality along the river in Minnesota, reports the Austin Daily Herald:
District Administrator Bev Nordby said the practices of the watershed district in Minnesota will carry on down the line.
“What we do up here affects them down there, and so being positive on what we do will help them,” Nordby said.
Here’s the group’s 10 most endangered rivers:
- Upper Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York
- Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California
- Gauley River, West Virginia
- Little River, North Carolina
- Cedar River
- Upper Colorado River, Colorado
- Chetco River, Oregon
- Teton River, Idaho
- Monongahela River, Pennsylvania/West Virginia
- Coosa River, Alabama.