The world’s rivers provide some of the most beautiful recreational opportunities in the world, whether for rafters, fishers, bird watchers, or anyone who simply enjoys “getting back to nature.” Certain rivers have even taken on their own mysterious identities over the years, most notably the Egyptian Nile or the South American Amazon (which are continuously in competition for the longest river in the world). America also has its selection of famous rivers, with the Mississippi River being at the top of the list. This location has been immortalized in the literary works of William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville. Who can forget the scenic Colorado, Columbia, or St. Johns rivers, either?Given the importance of these rivers to so many people, conservation efforts are ongoing to keep them protected for future generations. There are many threats facing rivers today. Global climate change can lead to an increase in both droughts and floods in river communities, along with an increase in waterborne diseases. Unsafe dams can also lead to flooding disasters, while poorly-controlled industrial projects on the banks of the river (like logging or mining) can damage the water quality and the wildlife living within. Decreasing water supplies in many rivers are also a growing cause for concern.American Rivers, a conservation organization founded in 1973, works to keep rivers safe and clean for the millions of people who depend on them each day. While it’s not the only American organization dedicated to the nation’s rivers, it is possibly the largest, with “more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide.”If you’ve never experienced the beauty of a river before, you can get a taste through crystal-clear HD Channels like Discovery and Animal Planet on Direct TV Choice Extra. We know that that is not enough, though. To ensure that these rivers survive in reality, we all must consider the consequences of our actions today. Learn more about how you can help to protect America’s rivers by visiting www.americanrivers.org, or explore other organizations like Round River Conservation Studies (www.roundriver.org/) and The U.S. River Conservation Team (http://www.nationalrivers.org/team/tm-menu.htm).