Home U.S The Snake River in the Pacific Northwest is the nation's 'most endangered...

The Snake River in the Pacific Northwest is the nation's 'most endangered river' of 2021

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A man fishes for salmon in the Snake River above the Lower Granite Dam on Oct. 19, 2016, in Washington. The Snake River was named the nation's most endangered river by the environmental group American Rivers.
  • The loss of salmon in the Snake River is an existential threat to Northwest tribes who depend on the fish for their cultures and identities.
  • Rivers are among the most degraded ecosystems on the planet.
  • The rivers on the list aren’t the nation’s “worst” or most polluted rivers.

The Snake River in the Pacific Northwest is the nation’s most endangered river of 2021, according to a report released Tuesday by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers.

“Rarely has a river been in such need of bold, swift action than the Pacific Northwest’s Snake River,” American Rivers said in a statement. “Once the largest salmon producer in the Columbia River Basin, today Snake River salmon runs are at the brink of extinction. The loss of salmon is an existential threat to Northwest tribes who depend on the fish for their cultures and identities.”

Salmon are a crucial component of the Northwest’s economy. Recreational fishing in the Pacific Northwest generates more than $5.3 billion a year in economic benefits and supports more than 36,000 jobs, according to American Rivers.  

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