This chapter discusses the impact of industrialization on the health of rivers in United States. Like the period of pioneer impacts, the period of commercial impacts dominates different periods of time across the country. The chapter reveals that industrial activities began to affect some rivers substantially in the eastern United States during the first decades of the nineteenth century. Fish migrations along the major East Coast Rivers of the United States are blocked by seventy-eight dams, many of which were constructed during the first decades of the 1800s. Industrial activities impacted rivers in parts of the western and mid-western United States by the middle of the nineteenth century and most of the rest of the country by the early decades of the twentieth century. The chapter discusses how these types of activities continue to substantially affect American rivers today.
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