Share Your Vision for the Ohio River

Listening sessions held in Huntington, Marietta and Wheeling

Growing up in Charleston, in the chemical valley, I was always dismayed it wasn’t safe for me to swim in the rivers that surrounded me. I longed to enjoy the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers but was told from a young age that it wasn’t safe. As a kid, that didn’t make sense to me – how could the water not be safe for swimming? When I learned our drinking water came from the Ohio, I wondered how that could be- how could the river not be safe to swim in, yet we drank from it?

As I got older, I realized that toxic pollution in our drinking water isn’t the only issue facing the Ohio. We are dealing with habitat loss and invasive species that hurt fish and wildlife. We’re contending with acid mine drainage, sewer overflows, and runoff from farms that can create toxic algae blooms. We’re also confronting the realities of climate change, such as the increases in flooding that destroys property and threatens our communities.

Few things are as important to our lives and well-being as access to clean, safe drinking water. Our waters are our legacy, a treasure. I’m proud to be working with WV Rivers Coalition to identify potential sources of contamination and propose management strategies to cut off pollution upstream at the source. We work to strengthen environmental laws and hold polluters accountable.

Maybe, like me, you’re concerned about your water quality. If so, I invite you to please join us in a series listening sessions along the Ohio.

WV Rivers Coalition and the National Wildlife Federation want to hear from you and your neighbors about concerns and ideas for solutions. Help us set our priorities for getting the Ohio on a path to recovery. We have a once in a generation opportunity to work with regional collaborations that are focused on our issues, too.

Please join us. We’ll be holding sessions in Wheeling, Marietta and Huntington. If you’re unable to attend, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll make sure your voice is heard.


When: July 12, 6:30- 8:00pm

Where: Wheeling Park Bandstand overlooking the Stifel Playground


When: July 13, 6:30- 8:00pm

Where: Pavilion at Broughton Nature & Wildlife Education Area


When: July 14, 6:30- 8:00pm

Where: Ritter Park in Shelter #1

To a healthy Ohio River,

Heather Sprouse

Ohio River Coordinator

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