More than half of the country’s rivers and streams are in poor biological health, unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures, according to a nationwide survey released Tuesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency sampled nearly 2,000 locations in 2008 and 2009 — from rivers as large as the Mississippi River to streams small enough for wading. The study found more than 55 percent of them in poor condition, 23 percent in fair shape, and 21 percent in good biological health, according to report by The Washington Post.
Conditions are worse in the East, the report found. More than 70 percent of streams and rivers from the Texas coast to the New Jersey coast are in poor shape.
“This new science shows that America’s streams and rivers are under significant pressure,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator of the EPA’s water office. “We must continue to invest in protecting and restoring our nation’s streams and rivers, as they are vital sources of our drinking water, provide many recreational opportunities and play a critical role in the economy.”