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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Stream of Life

It is no accident that many of the world's great cities developed on the banks of a great river. Rivers have been the lifeblood of civilization, the staff of life itself. Even small streams, winding through prairies and woodlands with no cities at their sides, provide valuable goods and services to humans and to the natural systems on which we depend.

Throughout our history, natural streams have provided:

  • Clean water
  • Habitat for plants, wildlife, and fish-many of direct benefit to humans
  • Storage of floodwaters in the floodplain and wetlands, reducing the magnitude and destructiveness of flooding
  • Transportation, from light canoes to fleets of barges
  • Power for mills and power plants
  • Removal of effluent, heat, and other waste
  • Beauty, spiritual significance, and even national identity

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Stream of Life
Why it Matters
About this Program
Guiding Principles
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