The Haw River in North Carolina — one of the sources drinking water and recreation in the state — is the nation's "most endangered river," according to a report from American Rivers.


HAW RIVER -- The Haw River in North Carolina ranked 9th on the nation's "most endangered river".

The report, "America's Most Endangered Rivers for 2014," released Wednesday by the Washington-based environmental group.

According to the news release from the group, The Haw River is threatened by polluted runoff rainwater that picks up pollution as it flows over roads and parking lots. Sewage also leaks from outdated and overtaxed waste-water pipes.

The report states, this pollution containing excess nitrogen and phosphorous, has caused large algal blooms in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir, which impacts the health of people and fish.

"The America's Most Endangered Rivers report is a call to action to save rivers that are at a critical tipping point," said Peter Raabe of American Rivers.

"Pollution is choking the Haw River and without a meaningful cleanup plan that addresses the sources of pollution, the drinking water supplies for one million people will continue to be at risk."

Other rivers on this year's list include the Upper Colorado River system in Colorado; a stretch of the Mississippi River in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky; the Gila River in New Mexico and the San Francisquito Creek in California.

Rounding out the Top 10 are the South Fork Edisto River in South Carolina; the White River in Colorado; the White River in Washington and the Clearwater/Lochsa Rivers in Idaho.

The list is not a series of the "worst" or most polluted rivers.

Three factors govern the rivers' selections, according to Irvin: "One is the significance of the river for human and natural communities," he says. "The second is the magnitude of the threat for a particular river, while the third is a major decision that the public can help influence in the coming year."

Environmental advocacy group American Rivers has been compiling an annual list of the nation's most endangered rivers since 1984.

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