The St. Croix River rises in northern Wisconsin where springs bubble up in bogs and trickle together to form the river. Just a few miles downstream, the clear waters of the Eau Claire River flow in. Another twenty miles south, the Namekagon joins the St. Croix. A short ways up the Namekagon, the Totogatic River enters it.
Under all four of those rivers, and through countless forests, fields, creeks and wetlands, a 42-inch pipeline called Line 61 carries heavy crude oil. By next year, three times as much will flow through it – supplying America with its favorite fuel, and multiplying the potential for pollution. Little had been reported previously about this expansion and its potential effects on the St. Croix headwaters.