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Making an Icon out of the Los Angeles River

Rivers have long been the spines of our greatest cities. Regardless of your geography prowess, you have no doubt heard of them—Thames, Seine, Potomac, Tiber, Ganges, Nile. These names twist through our history and culture in ways that imitate their own billowing shapes. They feed our wells and our fields. They clean away our rubbish. They are the arteries of our civilization…

Forgotten Places and Radical Hope on Philadelphia’s Tidal Schuylkill River

How do we see an urban, industrial river? How do we hear its stories? Who gets to tell them? I first got on the lower, tidal Schuylkill River on October fifth, 2015. With a boat captain, a first mate, and a photographer, I was helping push a floating lab for experiments in sustainability into position. Since that day, these questions about how to see and to listen for Philadelphia rivers’ stories have occupied me, a historian trained originally in European literature and in the print culture of the colonial Atlantic world…

The National River Organizations

Citizens who appreciate the importance and preservation of our country’s natural resources know that governmental agencies need assistance to do their jobs. That’s why in the conservation arena so many not-for-profit or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are acting to augment and monitor the work of the government agencies.

An Orphaned River, A Lost Delta

Over thousands of years the Mississippi River deposited fresh water, nutrients, and sediment through a vast American territory to form one of the world’s grandest deltas. Today, Louisiana’s coastal wetlands—a critical ecosystem in this delta and a place we call “America’s Wetland”—is dying.

Perspectives on River Interventions

Over the past two decades, river management has added a new approach to the “toolbox” of efforts to undo some of the damage caused by earlier generations of river interventions. Humans have intervened in river flows for millennia, damming water courses and creating levees to shape river flows, all in the name of providing expanded benefits from managed river flows. But things have changed recently.