by R. Scot Duncan
University of Alabama Press, 2024
Paper: 978-0-8173-6128-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9484-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-2182-6
Library of Congress Classification QH76.5.S69D86 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 577.64

Explores the Southeast’s imperiled river systems and solutions for preserving them in the face of habitat loss, climate change, and extinction
Southern Rivers, by award-winning nature writer and biologist R. Scot Duncan, is a thoroughly crafted exploration of the perilous state of the Southeast’s rivers and the urgent need to safeguard their vitality. The region’s rivers are the epicenter of North American freshwater biodiversity and are the top global hotspot for important aquatic animals including mussels, turtles, snails, crayfish, and fish, many of which have made important contributions to southern life and culture.

Centuries of commercial development have impaired the region’s river systems, sacrificing biodiversity and compromising the rivers’ ability to provide resources essential to human life: drinking water, waste disposal, irrigation, navigation, recreation, power production, and more. Now, increased heat and drought caused by climate change are lowering water levels. As such threats increase, it may seem necessary to choose between nature conservation and human needs, but Duncan persuasively demonstrates that this is a false choice. Conservation enhances human life.

In the same engaging voice of an expert friend that won over thousands of readers of his earlier book, Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity, Duncan explains the task of managing southeastern rivers and how river water quality affects the daily lives of the millions who hold these historic waterways dear. He shows how managing rivers wisely can meet the needs of biodiversity and humanity both. With Americans increasingly anxious about the onset of climate change and the accelerating extinction crisis, Southern Rivers illuminates actionable solutions.

See other books on: Meteorology & Climatology | Rivers | Stream ecology | Stream health | Water supply
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