Top Ten Most-Endangered Public Lands
Air and water resources are seriously threatened at South Texas's Big Bend. Scenic views? Forget it: They're often fogged out by air pollution, particularly in summer. According to Environmental Protection Agency and Park Service studies, some of the worst pollution comes from coal-fired power plants that lack modern emission-control technology.
In addition, the Rio Grande faces low flows, which concentrates water pollutants, undermines ecological health, stresses wildlife, and threatens recreational rafting. The low flows are partly a result of water diversions in large, urban areas like El Paso. And on the Mexican side, flows from the Rio Conchos tributary have declined by 50 percent.
Recommended solution: Clean up dirty power plants in Texas and Mexico, and establish guaranteed minimum river flows in the Rio Grande through the park.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication