The Peace River
In 2004, the Peace River was classified as the 8th Most Endangered River in America by the American Rivers Organizaition. Click on the image above to learn about the American Rivers’ summary of the threats to the Peace River.
The Peace River flows 105 miles southwest from its headwaters in the Green Swamp near Polk County through eight counties to Charlotte Harbor.
In 2004, the American Rivers Organization declared the Peace River among the Most Endangered Rivers in the United States. In making the designation, they cited the proposed expansion of phosphate strip mining as a major risk.
The Peace River has already been impacted. A cumulative impact study by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has documented heavy impacts to the Peace River and surrounding land.
Strip mining takes away the natural surface contour of the land, thus altering the amount and quality of the water that makes its way to the Peace River. The river has lost flow over the last century, largely due to mining. The small amount of water that does make it to the river is significantly higher in minerals than what is normally found in the Peace River. This can affect the water content all the way to Charlotte Harbor. Salinity levels in the Harbor have been historically higher in the last few years. This has had a notable effect on fish and plant populations.
Phosphate strip mining has been 10 percent of the land use and 39 percent of the impact. Mosaic has options on 100,000 or more acres. They want to expand strip mining. When they do, they will expand their impact.
America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2004
- Colorado River (CO, UT, AZ, NV, CA)
- Big Sunflower River (MS)
- Snake River (WY, ID, OR, WA)
- Tennessee River (TN, AL, MS, KY)
- Allegheny and Monongahela rivers (WV, PA, NY)
- Spokane River (ID, WA)
- Housatonic River (MA, CT)
- Peace River (FL)
- Big Darby Creek (OH)
- Mississippi River (MN, WI, IA, IL, MO, KY, TN, AR, MS, LA)