WV Rivers’ Special Report and Looking Ahead Towards 2020

November 2019

Dear Friend of WV Rivers,

I am Angie Rosser, the executive director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition and today I want to share with you a special year-end report on WV Rivers’ programming and achievements towards cleaner water and healthier streams in West Virginia.

For 30 years, WV Rivers has been the voice of West Virginia’s rivers and streams and; this year, WV Rivers experienced more public engagement in our programming than ever before. So far, we facilitated 46,582 citizen actions on policies that affect our water. 

Were you one of the citizen advocates that stood up for clean water through WV Rivers’ action alerts? 

There is a groundswell of support for WV Rivers’ mission to conserve and restore West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams. And the movement getting stronger! Next year, West Virginia’s water will be facing some big challenges, and we’ll need everyone to step-up and do their part to make our water safe and our streams wild and healthy. 

WV Rivers depends on donations from supporters like you to move our mission forward. You can join the movement for clean, safe West Virginia water by making a year-end, tax-deductible donation for as little as $25.00.    

Below, I’ve highlighted a few of our clean water priorities for 2020. We’re counting on your donation to make sure it all gets done. Please donate today. 

Water Policy 

Human Health Protections. We will continue to advocate for adoption of water quality standards that fully protect human health from waterborne toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, in spite of fierce political pressure from the big chemical companies.   

2020 Legislative Session. We will defend against weakening water protections, and advocate for pro-active policies that improve environmental health. One example will be legislation to update Clean Water Act penalties to more effectively deter companies from breaking the law and causing further harm to our water. We will be the go-to for information on proposed bills and alert the public to when and how to get involved. Sign-up for weekly water policy updates during the legislative session here

Safe Water for WV Program 

Community Engagement in Drinking Water Protection. We will involve new partners in source water protection efforts. We’ll provide coordination and resources for watershed groups, water utilities, and other stakeholders to advance projects that make our public drinking water supplies cleaner and the water we drink safer.    

Enforcement and Regulatory Oversight 

Volunteer Water Quality Monitors. We will provide our network of nearly 200 active volunteer water quality monitors the tools and training they need to identify and report impacts to streams from natural gas development. Using our volunteers’ data, we will develop a series of reports for decision-makers on our observations and recommendations for better protecting water quality. You can view our first report here

Watchdog Regulatory Agencies. A large portion of our work involves the oversight of regulatory and enforcement agencies. We will work to keep their decision-making transparent and within the bounds of the law. Read a blog by our staff scientist on our efforts here.

Headwaters and Public Lands Protection 

WV Wild Trout Collaborative. With agency partners and citizen scientists, we will sample streams for eDNA to document wild trout populations and work to provide enhanced protections for those streams and populations.  

West Virginians for Public Lands. Healthy streams start on wild public lands. We will provide public education and mobilize action on policies that affect our public lands. In 2020, this will include the New River Gorge National Park re-designation, reckless expansion of motorized vehicles on public lands headwater regions, and a campaign to preserve everything wild and wonderful about our Monongahela National Forest, the birthplace of rivers. 

Confronting Climate Change. We will continue to provide education on the realities of climate change for West Virginia and our rivers, streams and wildlife. We will mobilize citizens to call on policymakers to act on climate solutions.  

I hope that work outlined in this letter demonstrates just how essential your year-end donation to WV Rivers really is. Can we count on you to make a year-end donation to support clean water in 2020? 

To clean water and healthy streams,

Angie Rosser  
Executive Director  

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