The removal of streamside forests has adversely
affected the vitality of our water resources
In natural conditions, streamside forests protected most of the rivers and streams of our nation, but deforestation associated with agricultural and urban expansion has drastically reduced the extent of stream bank protected by forest. The result has been an adverse effect on the quality of water and aquatic habitats. In many of our streams and estuaries, water is unfit for human consumption, industrial use or recreation. Shellfish and finfish production is also reduced. These problems are linked, in part, to contamination from nutrients, sediment, animal waste, and other pollutants associated with agricultural and urban runoff.
Photo right: Many of America's waters have been rendered unfit for use.
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