Being located so centrally in the US, far from the huge population centers of industry, you wouldn't think Oklahoma is home of one of America's most polluted rivers, but it is.

When I first read the report, I instantly thought this had to be one of the rivers around Tulsa. After all, it is the "Oil Capital of the World," right? After all, there are a few different oil and gas companies, including refineries right along the Arkansas River near downtown T-Town...

Spoiler, it's not the Arkansas River.

Then I thought "It has to be the Verdigris River." Not only does the Verdigris support the Port of Catoosa--America's largest inland port--but it's also lined with several industrial loading sub-ports.

Fun fact, the Port of Catoosa and downriver suppliers provide the most urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer to the county. Surely this is why the Verdigris is among the most polluted waterways in the nation, right?

Nope. The Verdigris River isn't as polluted as Oklahoma's biggest river, and it's not the Illinois--though that river is polluted every summer with trash and urine. So many people float that river each year, it's practically 50% pee at certain points in the warmer months.

It's the mighty Red River.

While it may seem out of left field, for our beloved border-building Red River to be on this list, it is, and not for the reasons you might think.

The internet comments were full of people talking about Lake Texoma and boat traffic causing such an environmental catastrophe, but that only showed who failed to read the actual report. It's not due to Texoma.

The biggest blame is pointed at agriculture and the runoff those rare heavy rains supposedly cause. This could be washing chemicals, herbicides, and insecticides into the river, but it gets worse as you travel downstream.

The Red River isn't just an Oklahoma/Texas border waterway, it's huge. It flows through a few different states from New Mexico down through Baton Rouge where it becomes the famed Louisiana Atchafalaya Swamp. As it meanders from here to there, industrial waste becomes a big pollution factor.

Given Louisiana's reputation for environmental respect and safety, we can only assume it dirties up with pollution far more down on the bayou.

The full list of America's most polluted rivers:

  • Ohio River
  • Calcasieu River
  • Mississippi River
  • Savannah River
  • Tennessee River
  • Harpeth River
  • Holston River
  • Cuyahoga River
  • Willamette River
  • New River
  • San Joaquin River
  • Colorado River
  • Red River
  • Delaware River
  • Allegheny River

Oklahoma's Top 11 Worst Natural & Manmade Disasters

Some of Oklahoma's most notorious disasters here will be somewhat familiar. Our weather is incredible enough, but there has been a surprising amount of new and modern discoveries of manmade shenanigans. Tornadoes to toxic soils, bombs to nuclear secrets, these are the top 11 worst natural and manmade disasters that have struck Oklahoma.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Oklahoma Counties with the Highest Fatal Overdoses

Drugs seem to be an increasing problem for Oklahoma. Fatal overdoses are up 67% in the last few years, and while fentanyl has seen the biggest statistical jump in numbers, cheap and plentiful meth is the biggest problem facing the Sooner State. Even more shocking, the age group experiencing the highest fatality rates are Gen-Xers--Ages 45-54. Because the full stats and total breakdown haven't yet been made public, here are the top five followed by the other counties experiencing 25+ overdose deaths per 100,000 people.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Top Mispronounced Towns That Show You're Not From Oklahoma

Just for funs, try to pronounce these town names before hopping to the phonetics...

Gallery Credit: Kelso

14 Items Oklahoma Residents Should Never Carry In Their Purse Or Wallet

Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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