The America’s Most Endangered Rivers® report is one of the best-known and longest lived annual reports in the environmental movement. Every year, grassroots river conservationists team up with American Rivers to use the report to save their local rivers.

Rivers are selected on the following criteria:

  • A major decision (that the public can help influence) in the comning year on the proposed action
  • The significance of the river to human and natural communities
  • The magnitue of the threat to the river and associated communities, especially in light of a changing climate


The Rappahannock is not on this list because it is on of the nation’s “worst” or most polluted rivers, but because it is confronted by critical decisions that will impact its future. Learn more about the Endangered Rivers Report.





If you live in Westmoreland, Essex, Caroline and King and Queen Counties– appeal to your local government to establish local land use ordinances that provide long term protection of the Rappahannock River and Potomac Aquifer.

If you live in Virginia, appeal to the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to uphold the Governor’s safeguards and make it known that we cannot tolerate attempts to weaken or remove existing regulations that protect clean drinking water from fracking.

Help Prevent Fracking

Your Voice Does Matter. Join Friends of the Rappahannock and other concerned citizens by making your voice heard on the local and state government level. Help protect our river and water source for generations.

Act Now


Fracking is a very real concern for the Rappahannock. There are currently 85,000 acres in five counties leased for oil and gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) along the tidal Rappahannock and many of its tributaries. In the past four years, only one out of the five counties, King George, has passed a land use ordinance designed to protect its environment and natural resources, residents, local economy and infrastructure from the potential negative impacts of fracking.

Four pieces of legislation at the state level were introduced in the beginning of 2017, with the support of the natural gas industry, that would weaken the existing legislation that requires disclosure of fracking chemicals and water quality monitoring. Local partners were successful in defeating the legislation. In order to remove this threat, it is up to the local government to establish protections to guarantee the safety of their citizens’ drinking water, infrastructure, and local economies.


Radio Interview with Ted Schubel: The Rappahannock on the Most Endangered Rivers List

This morning, April 12, Bryan Hofmann and Woodie Walker from Friends of the Rappahannock sat down with Ted Schubel on his morning show Town Talk. The Rappahannock is currently No 5 on the Most Endangered Rivers list released by American Rivers due to the fracking...
Read More

Rappahannock River Steward Reports Big Win in King George County

A special type of natural gas drilling called Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing and better known as “Fracking, is known to have a myriad of impacts on communities, infrastructure, and the natural environment. In 2013 gas companies began leasing land in the tidewater...
Read More

Fracking workshops focus on ownership issues

By Megan Gallagher Megan Gallagher lives in The Plains, Va., and is an advisor to the Shenandoah Valley Network of conservation groups. Friends of the Rappahannock and local partners co-sponsored two workshops recently for landowners considering leasing or who have...
Read More

Hydraulic fracturing 101: an overview of the facts

By Aimee Delach, FOR VolunteerDepending on who you talk to, hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) may be presented as an economic boom, the path to energy independence, or a fast track to a polluted watershed. As interest mounts in Virginia’s own natural gas reserves,...
Read More

Taylorsville Partners shed light on fracking concerns

2014 has been a busy year atop the Taylorsville Basin, an ancient shale deposit formed millions of years ago, and now miles below our feet in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. The Taylorsville Basin spans Caroline, King George, Westmoreland, Essex and King and...
Read More