Missouri & Kansas rivers on 'most endangered' list

The Kansas and Missouri rivers both earned a dubious distinction Tuesday morning.

Both were placed on a new top 10 endangered rivers list.

Factors for the America's Most Endangered Rivers report, put together by a group called American Rivers, include pollution, water quality and the effects of flooding.

The report says the flooding from last summer contributed to the Missouri River, the nation's longest, ending up in the top 5 – at No. 4.

The problem, according to the report, is Missouri's outdated flood management practices.

During the flooding last year, farmland was lost because of the current flood practices.

American Rivers wants more land set aside for flood control.

"It's not a 100 percent guarantee of success," said American Rivers spokesman Bill Griffith, "but it's thinking ahead, thinking smart, using adaptive management in order to help the river go where we want it to go rather have it tear through wherever it wants to go."

The organization wants congress to again restore funds to the Missouri River recovery program so the Army Corp of Engineers can buy land from willing sellers so the land can be used in times of flooding.

"The river is meant to be slower and wider than it is and we certainly can't turn it back to how it was in the 1800s,Griffith said, "but we can in some places be smarter and open the river up more and to help us with flood control and also ecological restoration."

The Kansas River ranked number 10 on the list.

"The river is threatened by sand and gravel dredging, which would cause severe harm to clean water, wildlife, and recreation opportunities," the report states. "The Army Corps of Engineers must complete a comprehensive study of the impacts of dredging, deny all new permit requests, and plan to end dredging on the Kansas River by 2017."

To see the entire list of America's Most Endangered Rivers and see detailed reports on each river, visit http://bit.ly/JdEyTi

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