WV Rivers News: New Staff; Events; WVDEP Water Quality Public Meeting

Happy 50th Birthday to the Clean Water Act

This year, the Clean Water Act (CWA), the landmark environmental policy that aims to make our water safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking is turning 50! Check out these great resources on the Clean Water Act from our friends at River Network and Waterkeeper.

The quality – and safety – of our nations streams, lakes and coastal waters have come a long way because of the CWA. Some folks may remember when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire or when Arlington, VA residents needed to seek emergency medical attention for prolonged exposure to the waters of the Potomac.

The Cuyahoga River in 1969. Watch a short film on the Cuyahoga, the EPA and the birth of the Clean Water Act.

This sign was along the banks of the Potomac River outside of Arlington, VA.

As the “water tower of the East” a nickname that describes West Virginia’s status as the birthplace of rivers that ultimately provide drinking water to millions of Americans, the Clean Water Act is essential to making sure the waters that flow from our mountains are safe to use and enjoy.

The Clean Water Act has lofty goals –all waters in the US are swimmable, drinkable and fishable – and the legal mechanisms within the Act are designed to achieve those goals.

On June 26, we’re hosting a birthday party for the Clean Water Act at Summersville Lake to celebrate the incredible legacy of the Act and look forward towards the next 50 years. Everyone is invited!

What: Free Activities for the whole family

When: 12-5PM – specific activity times here.

Where: Summersville Lake, Damsite Picnic Area, Pavilion #2. See a map here.

Ohio River Coordinator Joins the WV Rivers Team

Join the WV Rivers staff and board in extending a warm welcome to our newest team member, Heather Sprouse. Heather is a 6th generation West Virginian and operates a small farm in Putnam County. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Sociology from Marshall University where she focused on community and leadership development.

Heather will be using her talents to foster partnerships to drive clean water policy forward throughout the Ohio River Basin.

Connect with Heather! If you are an Ohio River Basin resident, or community group send Heather a message here.

WV Rivers Tours US Forest Service Project

Recently, members of our staff were invited by the US Forest Service (USFS) to tour an upcoming forest management project within the Monongahela National Forest.

We were curious to learn more about how the USFS develops forest management projects and how those projects are guided by the Mon’s forest plan.

A forest plan determines how the USFS manages the land within a National Forest’s boundaries.

USFS staff shared how forest projects are developed using an inter-disciplinary team to analyze potential impacts

Scientists look at impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, soil stability, forest age, carbon storage, and recreation opportunities. The data from the study guides the USFS in determining what activities are appropriate for the area.

Once the USFS develops a project plan it is shared with the public for review and comment. If you are interested in learning about forest management projects within the Monongahela National Forest, make sure you are signed up for West Virginian’s for Public Lands e-newsletter, and follow WVPL on Facebook and Instagram!

​Water Quality Standards Public Meeting – June 28

The WVDEP is in the process of reviewing and updating West Virginia’s water quality standards.

On June 28 from 1pm – 4pm the WVDEP will hold a public meeting to review recommendations made by the public regarding potential updates.  You can read WV Rivers recommendations here.

You can attend the meeting in person or virtually.

In Person: WVDEP Headquarters 601 57th St SE Charleston WV 25304 Coopers Rock Conference Room

Virtually: Google Meet

WV Rivers On the Road – Stop by and Say Hi!

June 17-18: We’ll be at YakFest in St. Albans to celebrate flat water paddling, the Coal River, and community partnerships. Stop by our booth for WV Rivers t-shirts and stickers, sign our climate pledge and learn about the good work we’re doing around the state.

June 17-18: Friends in the Eastern Panhandle region can meet public lands coordinator, Mike Jones at Cacapon Riverfest. Learn about efforts to protect the Cacapon River, enjoy music, and free art activities!

June 20: Come hear Fletcher’s Grove and other artists play at East Marion Park in Fairmont during Jammin for Jobs & Justice. This free event will bring joy to the people through music, art, culture, and story-telling in Fairmont, WV. Speakers will highlight how federal investments will benefit West Virginians including improved access to clean water, more reliable electricity, lower energy bills, remediation of contamination, and better storm water management.

June 23: Head over to the Empty Glass in Charleston for an evening of music with Swingstein and Robin. They will be graciously giving at least 50% of their tips as a fundraiser for WV Rivers, so come enjoy the music and tip generously…and bring your dancing shoes!

June 26: WV Rivers Clean Water Act Birthday Party. Join the fun from 12-5PM at Summersville Lake.

July 1: Our team is headed to Washington, DC to represent West Virginia during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The theme of the event is Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities. The Folklife Festival spans two weeks and invites visitors to explore the possibilities and solutions to address some of our planet’s most significant challenges. WV Rivers will be presenting an exhibit on July 1 on WV’s status as a headwater state that provides drinking water to folks throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Ohio River Sweep 2022

Each year, ORSANCO coordinates volunteers from six states, extending the entire length of the Ohio River, to remove litter from various locations along the river and its tributaries. You can find an existing clean-up near you using an online interactive map, or host your own. There are many opportunities for groups including Scouts, city and county parks & recreation, universities, rotary clubs, and local businesses to host clean ups. Learn more.

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