WV Rivers News: Climate Activism, Watershed Symposium, ACE Act

Three Opportunities to Learn More about the Climate Crisis

Climate change. Those two words can evoke a lot of emotion. For some people it’s a politically charged phrase, for others it’s just too overwhelming to think about.

Fortunately, we have a few resources to help you understand the science as well as the environmental and social impacts of our changing climate. Check them out below:

Download A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change. This new report was developed by the West Virginia Climate Alliance, a of coalition West Virginia-based organizations working to provide Mountaineers the facts on the climate crisis. The easy to read report explains the science behind climate change; details its key impacts in West Virginia, like flooding; and provides potential solutions to this growing problem.

Join a FREE webinar on Thursday, October 22, from 6-8 PM, titled What Do We Tell The Kids and What Are They Telling Us? Generational Perspectives and the Climate Crisis. During the webinar you’ll learn from researchers on the forefront of the climate crisis as they tackle questions like: what strategies support hope and positive action; and how can understanding generational perspectives lead to better climate solutions? Learn more and register here.

Learn about solar energy. A new solar co-op hosted by Solar United Neighbors is forming in Southeastern WV and you are invited to learn more. Find out what a solar co-op is, how solar energy works, and if solar could benefit your home or small business. Find out more here.

Have You Made a Plan to Vote?

Do you have election fatigue? Tired of political calls, texts, and ads? Nervous about Election Day? The team at WV Rivers knows how you feel! Here are a few tips, and a fun video from the Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, that might help alleviate those pre-election jitters.

Make a plan to vote. Whether voting with an absentee ballot by mail, or voting in person. Knowing where and by what method you’ll vote is the first step to taking back your power this election season. Visit GoVoteWV.com to learn more about your voting options and important dates.

Be informed. Learn about the candidates and how their values align with your values. WV Public Broadcasting has resources to help you get to know who is running.

Know your rights. The West Virginia Secretary of State’s website has a handy FAQ on voting in WV. You’ll be able to find resources on West Virginia’s voter ID law, disability rights, and other important information on how voting works in the Mountain State.

Congress Passes America’s Conservation Enhancement Act

Another big win for hunters, anglers and conservation is on the horizon. On October 1, America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act passed the House with unanimous support. The Act, which passed the Senate last month, now heads to the White House for a signature. For more information, go here.

If signed into law, the ACE Act will be monumental for Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts. The package of bills includes the reauthorization of the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program for the next five years, with an increased funding level of up to $92 million annually.

Wood Turtle. Photo by Kevin Oxenrider, WV-DNR.

The ACE Act will also reauthorize the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Program, as well as authorize Chesapeake WILD (Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense) program.

Other key provisions in the package include the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which helps critters like the wood turtle pictured above, and the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act. Check out a recent blog by team member Tanner Haid on the ACE Act’s impact in WV here.

Permits Reissued for Mountain Valley Pipeline

After nearly one year of inactivity, federal agencies are reissuing impact findings of vacated permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Reissuances include:

  • A revised Biological Opinion from the Fish and Wildlife Service on the impacts to the endangered Candy Darter.
  • A Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement from the Forest Service on activities in the Jefferson National Forest.
  • The Nationwide Permit 12 from the Army Corps of Engineers. This permit allows the pipeline to cross thousands of streams and wetlands in its path.

In early October, WV Rivers joined partners in filing a petition with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on flaws in the reissuance of the Nationwide 12 and the court is in the process of reviewing the new permit to see if it meets requirements. Even though this permit and the Jefferson National Forest approval is under review, on Friday 10/9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted MVP permission to resume construction.

What You Can Do

If you have been personally affected by pipeline development, researchers at WVU are interested in hearing from you for a project titled, “Supporting community capacity-building against extractive interests through place-based visual and narrative inquiry.” People from WV, OH and PA who have pipelines on their property or in their communities are invited to take short survey that can be completed anonymously here.

Safe Water Conservation Collaborative – Landowner Legacy Video Series

The Safe Water Conservation Collaborative is a partnership hosted by WV Rivers with the mission of “Protecting Drinking Water through Land Conservation.”

One of the ways partners achieve this mission is through conservation easements. Over the summer, the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative developed a video series highlighting landowners who chose to protect their land through a voluntary conservation easement.

Check out the landowner legacy video series and learn more about the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative at SafeWaterCollaborative.org.

Save the Date for the Virtual Watershed Symposium November 6-7

If you are a member of a watershed organization, or are interested in protecting your local watershed, then you won’t want to miss the Virtual Watershed Symposium, November 6-7, 2020.

This virtual networking and learning event will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to be an advocate for your community’s watershed! Learn more and register.

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