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Rivers/Streams

Freshwater rivers and streams are the circulatory system of most terrestrial ecosystems performing critical functions for biological survival such as climate control and nutrient cycling. These waterways and their surrounding lands provide unique and constantly changing habitats for flora and fauna throughout the world. At their headwaters, rivers/streams tend to be clearer, colder and more oxygenated…at their middle reaches, they often support greater species diversity…whereas at their mouths, they are generally warmer, less oxygenated and murky due to sediment accumulation.

Vital ecosystem services of freshwater rivers and streams include clean water for drinking and irrigation, fisheries, and natural flood control. The biological diversity of freshwater aquatic ecosystems is currently being degraded by a variety of human factors like unsustainable development along riparian corridors, industrial and agricultural pollution, damming and diversions, and habitat fragmentation. The ever-increasing demand for freshwater is also reducing productivity and causing irreversible habitat losses in many river ecosystems.

WEBSITES

Bryant University – Rivers of the World
An excellent introduction to the world’s most important river systems including history, current state of degradation, hydrology and photos.

EPA American Heritage Rivers
The heart of the American Heritage Rivers initiative is locally driven and designed solutions. The federal role is confined to fostering community empowerment, while providing focused attention and resources to help river communities restore their environment, revitalize their economy, renew their culture and preserve their history.

EPA River Corridor and Wetland Restoration
Restoration is a complex process that requires planning, implementation, monitoring, and management. It involves renewing natural and historical wetlands that have been lost or degraded and reclaiming their functions and values as vital ecosystems. Restoring our lost and degraded wetlands to their natural state is essential to ensure the health of America’s watershed.

Niagara Parks Nature
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens (NPBG) together with its parent organization, The Niagara Parks Commission, have a mandated duty to protect, enhance and manage both cultivated and environmentally sensitive lands.

Rivers of the Earth
Provides quick links to basic information on the world’s 25 longest rivers.

Riverworld
The website covers many inspiring examples of river conservation successes such as the stopping of the Arun dam in Nepal, the cleaning up of the Hudson River in New York and the protection of Costa Rica’s great Pacuare River. They also delve into stories of river devastation and attempt to provide readers with a greater understanding of the various threats that confront our rivers in the hope that we can learn from these examples.

Restoring Rivers
This website hosts the NRRSS database which contains over 37,000 stream restoration projects throughout the United States, with concentrations in 7 regions of the country—California, Central US, Chesapeake Bay, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Upper Midwest.   Information on these projects was collected from 2002 to 2004 by a group of stream scientists.  These data were used for a study to understand the current state of stream restoration in the United States.

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Restoration Radio


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