WV Rivers News: Meet Our New Campaign Coordinator, Program Updates, Summer Newsletter

Protecting Wild Places – The Great American Outdoors Act

Any West Virginian will tell you our slogan at the drop of a hat – Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. It hits the nail on the head – it’s who we are and what we believe. It’s our pride and joy. Now, with the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, substantial permanent funding is available to protect our wild and wonderful places.

On August 5, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law. One of the highlights of the Act is the full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund! Now, LWCF will receive $900 million annually to acquire, conserve and maintain public lands across the country. Leading to greater outdoor recreational activities, as well as more protection for woodlands, water sources, and wildlife habitat, which are natural climate solutions.

While we continue to show appreciation to our members of Congress who have championed legislation, we would be remiss to forget to thank the behind-the-scenes players, like YOU, who made this possible! Over the past six years, thousands of people have answered our calls for action by voicing the importance of wildlands to decision-makers. Many thanks to those of you who spoke out to protect WV public lands for generations to come! Keep it Wild. Keep it Wonderful. Learn more.

ReImagine Appalachia: A Vision and a Plan for a Sustainable, Prosperous and Equitable Appalachia

Click above to watch a short video on the vision and purpose of ReImagine Appalachia.

We’re excited to share with you a new coalition that WV Rivers is a member of called ReImagine Appalachia.

ReImagine Appalachia is a diverse coalition of labor, policy experts and community leaders who are making sure that no matter what a person looks like or the size of their bank account, everyone who lives in Appalachia can have a good job, is cared for, and can put down roots for the future.

In early August, the ReImagine Appalachia coalition released a policy blueprint that has been endorsed by 62 organizations. The blueprint is based on months of research, outreach and community engagement. It’s an Appalachian document created by and for Appalachian people and it shows federal policymakers the way forward to create a vibrant, thriving region. Read more here, and watch a short video on the initiative here.

A Note from WV Rivers’ New Campaigns Coordinator

Hi Everyone,

I hope you and your families are well during these crazy times.

I am the new Campaigns Coordinator for WV Rivers, Sarah Cross. In this position, I am organizing the WV for Public Lands Campaign, as well as working on other projects, such as Climate Change in WV. You can read more about my background at wvrivers.org.

I’m looking forward to working with you on these efforts. My experiences growing up in the woods, fields, and waterways of West Virginia have given me a great appreciation for the wild places here, and so it is a privilege to join the WV Rivers team.

The protection of waterways and drinking water systems in WV are more important now than ever. Thank you all for your support, partnerships, and/or work to protect our great natural resources!

Interested in collaborating or learning more? Please feel free to reach out to me at scross@wvrivers.org or at 304-637-7201.

Take Care,

Sarah Cross, Ph.D.

Private-Public Partnership Helps Homeowners and Improves Water Quality

An innovative partnership between the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District and West Virginia Rivers Coalition helped homeowners address septic problems on their property and improve the water quality of the Elks Run Watershed. Read our blog on the project here.

The project, now completed, offered free septic pumping to twenty-two homeowners within the Elks Run Watershed. Leaky and overfilled septic tanks are one of the biggest stream pollution culprits. The slow discharge of waste introduces fecal coliform bacteria into streams. In West Virginia, fecal coliform bacteria is one of the most common types of pollution.

While the septic pumping project has concluded, efforts to make clean and safe water a priority throughout Jefferson County and the Eastern Panhandle continue. Contact our field coordinator, Tanner Haid, to learn more about other opportunities to improve water quality.

The Elks Run Watershed within Jefferson County.

Summer 2020 Headwaters Newsletter

The Summer edition of WV Rivers print newsletter, Headwaters, is hot off the presses. Check out a digital version here. Want a copy mailed to your house? Email ktyner@wvrivers.org.

Virtual Clean Water Events

August 10: Introducing the Forks of Coal State Natural Area

August 17-22: Virtual Buckhannon River Fest

August 24-28: Community Democracy: A Webinar Series

August 27: How’s my Waterway Webinar

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