Tennessee Fish and Alabama Mussel Proposed for Protection
Decades of damage to our rivers have sharply increased extinction risk for freshwater species. But thanks to legal action by the Center, the Fish and Wildlife Service just proposed Endangered Species Act protection for two of them.
The sickle darter is a five-inch fish of Tennessee's Appalachian rivers that eats larval mayflies, midges, riffle beetles, caddisflies and dragonflies. It's threatened by water pollution, siltation and dams that separate its populations.
The Canoe Creek clubshell is a mussel that lives only in tributaries of the Coosa River, in northeast Alabama. Like the sickle darter, it's threatened by pollution — plus drought caused by climate change.
By protecting these small river-dwellers, we also help ourselves: Like them, we depend on the health of our rivers for our wellbeing.