Washington Americans support protecting the nation's rivers, but lack a good understanding of how watersheds work, a poll for the National Geographic Society suggests.
Protecting and conserving rivers was important for 98 percent of the respondents. But only 15 percent knew that the greatest source of river pollution comes from the actions of individuals. Nearly three times as many, 44 percent, incorrectly identified industrial sources as the biggest culprit in polluting waterways.
Just one-third correctly identified land use and urban sprawl as the most serious threat to watersheds.
The "River IQ" study, released Wednesday, was commissioned by National Geographic. It is part of a program that will involve students, teachers, families and communities in projects aimed at preserving rivers and watersheds and conserving water.