Protecting Our Waters

Protecting America’s rivers as ‘Wild & Scenic,’ one stretch at a time

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Little Manatee Wild & Scenic River Act, which would protect a 51-mile stretch of the river.

blizsnowstorm via Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-2.0
The Little Manatee River

Upon signing the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act on October 2, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson remarked: “An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries.”

Thanks to this law, 12,709 miles of rivers are now protected as part of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. Rivers with this designation are free-flowing, with the ecological and recreational values protected. 

Nearly thirteen thousand miles represents progress, and yet there’s much more to do. Overall, less than 1% of America’s rivers have been designated as Wild & Scenic. 

It’s with this backdrop that we’re pleased to report some good news. Yesterday, September 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Little Manatee Wild & Scenic River Act by Rep. Buchanan (FL), which would designate a 51-mile stretch of the river as Wild & Scenic. Rep. Buchanan’s media release calls the river “one of the most pristine blackwater rivers in the state.” 

We urge the Senate to pass the bill this year.

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