Gratitude, Cheer, and Looking Towards a Brighter 2021

Glade Creek, Kevin King

Dear Friend of WV Rivers,

What a year it has been! In this time of physical distance and isolation, I hope you are finding ways to connect with those you care about this holiday season.

After such a difficult year, we could all use a little gratitude and good cheer. I want to start by saying thank you for being such a good friend of WV Rivers! During the toughest times, knowing that we can depend on you to be a champion for clean water in West Virginia is so encouraging. Thank you, truly, for your support.

Now, for some holiday cheer!

In 2020 we witnessed people from all walks of life turn to West Virginia’s rivers and outdoor spaces to find escape and connect with what’s important to them. In fact, West Virginia’s public lands experienced record-breaking visitation. And we saw that love for healthy streams and wild places translated into a wave citizen advocacy through our action alerts — folks like you sent over 54,600 messages to decision makers on clean water policies! That’s 17% more actions than last year. The best part is that our collective actions turned into real results like:

  • Defeat of a reckless industry attempt to exempt oil and gas tanks closest to drinking water intakes from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act.
  • A study passed by the WV Legislature to help identify the presence of toxic PFAS chemicals in our drinking water sources.
  • Cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
  • Suspension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s stream crossing permit.
  • Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, one of the most important pieces of public lands and recreation legislation ever passed, with all of West Virginia’s congressional members sponsoring the bill.

Indeed, sometimes it takes tough times to refocus on what really matters.

Blackwater Canyon Sunset, Kevin King

Here at WV Rivers, the vital importance of our mission, to conserve and restore West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams, has never been more critical.

Right now, we need your financial support to keep momentum for clean water moving forward. Not surprisingly, it’s been a challenging year for fundraising. Needs are up and donations are down. As a grassroots organization, we depend on year-end fundraising to help set our priorities for clean water in the coming year. Our annual fund drives our advocacy efforts.

Can we count on you to make a year-end gift?

Your donation will be put to work immediately. We’ve already identified 6 mission-critical priorities that depend on your annual donation.  

  1. The Legislature will be considering Water Quality Standards and human health protections. We need to raise $15,000 to push back against industry lobbyists with deep pockets and close ties to newly elected legislators. With your donations, we can hire experts and deliver the facts to you and your legislators.
  2. Pipeline developers will be rushing to complete projects. We need $5,000 to support boots and eyes on the ground to help ensure that measures to protect our streams are followed. Your donation will be used to review pollution events reported by citizen scientists. We’ll keep working to make sure companies are held accountable to the laws that protect our waters.
  3. Non-point source pollution is a leading cause of stream impairment. It’s everywhere. It runs off parking lots, it leaks from faulty septic systems, it is the muddy sludge coming off construction sites. We need $10,000 to help communities take on non-point source pollution through innovative and individualized approaches. Your donation will bring together experts, public water systems, and residents to help keep non-point source pollution out of drinking water supplies.
  4. West Virginia will receive more money for conservation and recreation projects, thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. We need to raise $5,000 to make sure the funds are spent wisely. Your donation will be used to provide input and oversight as our state applies these funds to new projects.
  5. West Virginians are hungry for factual information on climate change. We need $20,000 to develop a West Virginia-centric approach to climate education. Your donation will be used to develop online resources, publications, and public education events on the science behind climate change, and why it matters for West Virginians and our policymakers.
  6. WV Rivers’ digital advocacy platform will be more important than ever before to reach decision makers. We need to raise $2,000 to deploy a new click-to-call tool that will automatically connect our members to their elected officials over the phone. Your donation will make it easier for citizen advocates to have an impact.

Can we count on you to turn these priorities into a strong and solid ground game? Please, make your tax-deductible year-end donation today!

With gratitude, and best wishes for the coming year,

Angie Rosser, Executive Director

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