What’s Happening at WV Rivers – May 2023

This Tuesday, WV River’s Autumn Crowe will give an update from West Virginia on the resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). During the hourlong webinar, Crowe will detail the fight against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the current status of the ill-conceived project, and the immediate actions you can take to support the efforts of activists statewide.

Since the MVP was first proposed in 2014, WV Rivers Coalition has led the opposition to the 303-mile-long natural gas pipeline. With the help of trained Water Quality Monitor Volunteers, our coalition has unearthed numerous water quality violations. These findings have led to successful legal challenges, including the recent victory in the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court threw out a crucial permit that the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) needed to proceed with construction activities in West Virginia streams and wetlands.

You can RSVP for the webinar at this link.

So far, just under 600 West Virginians and allies have sent President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer a message telling them to reject the unjust approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in Senator Joe Manchin’s recently introduced legislation, “The Building American Energy Security Act of 2023.”

This legislation changes how federal agencies handle energy projects and takes the dangerous and unprecedented step of requiring agencies to issue all permits within 30 days for the MVP, without further public involvement or judicial review.

There is still time to add your voice to our call to DC leaders. If you have not already, click this link or the button below to join our coalition to protect and defend West Virginians and our planet.

Together we have built a powerful coalition. With your continued support, we’ll keep growing our numbers to protect access to clean water.

Join us for an online community conversation to discuss clean water priorities in a new plan to protect and restore the waters of the Ohio River Valley.

As the state affiliate for the host, National Wildlife Foundation, we’ve helped lead four in-person listening sessions along the Ohio River in West Virginia. We’ve heard from West Virginians that solutions are urgently needed to address long-standing problems like acid mine drainage and sewage contamination as well emerging problems like PFAS contamination and worsening flooding due to climate change.

Join us online Wednesday, May 24, 2023, to make sure your water quality priorities are included in the problem-solving plan.

We hope you can be there with us for this community conversation about how we can protect and restore our Ohio River.

Wardensville Water Quality Monitor Training

Join us for a two-part (virtual and in-person) Water Quality Monitor Training.

Virtual Training: Monday, May 29, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Field Training: Saturday, June 3, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Wardensville Town Park.

Stream Watch Training Tygart Valley Conservation District

To learn about how you can identify and report pollution, join us for a Stream Watch App Training.

Training: Wednesday, May 31, from 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM at the Tygart Valley Conservation District (16346 Barbour County Hwy, Philippi, WV 26416)

FestivALL and learn about Charleston’s murals from the seat of your own bike! Join the West Virginia Climate Alliance on a 60-minute guided bike tour of the vibrant murals in the capital city’s Downtown and West Side neighborhoods. Meet at Taylor Books at 5:30 pm, the ride will begin promptly at 6 pm. Bring your own bike, and don’t forget your helmet! This event is free and welcome to all!

Festivall Mural Ride Bike Tour
Wednesday, June 14 · 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Taylor Books 226 Capitol Street Charleston, WV 25301

We want to hear from you, too!

WV Rivers is asking people across the state to weigh in on how best to provide permanent safeguards to the Mon Forest headwaters. The ad to the right will be appearing in the summer edition of Highland Outdoors.

This ad is a follow-up to the “Conversation on Headwaters” on March 23. Participants learned about the importance of Mon Forest headwaters and the Forest Service’s efforts, then discussed the different ways to provide permanent safeguards for the Mon Forest Headwaters. If you missed the presentation, or want to review it, here is the recording of that conversation and the slides.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on protecting Our Mon Forest Headwaters and any concerns you might have about new policies. Scan the QR code or click the below button to complete our survey.

Image of an ad for a survey about the importance of the Mon. Forest Headwaters. There is an image of a waterfall and a lush green landscape in the background with the text "Why are the Mon. Forest Headwaters important." There is a QR Code and WV Rivers Logo on the ad.

Meet our newest team members at WV Rivers!

Maria Russo
Clean Water Campaign Coordinator

Maria was raised on a small farm in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia, where she developed her love for the natural environment and her passion for protecting all things beautiful. Maria attended Brown University, earning Bachelor’s Degrees in both Public Policy and Latin American Studies.

Maria is passionate about responsible policymaking and centering directly impacted people in decision-making processes. Early in her career, Maria worked on restorative drug policy and criminal justice campaigns, supporting grassroots organizing efforts in various forms.

Across sectors, Maria has led strategic initiatives, managed large-scale projects, facilitated iterative design processes, and effectively engaged stakeholders across various identities.

More recently, Maria worked as a Lobbyist with the West Virginia Environmental Council, helping to pass the PFAS Protection Act and other legislation that supports environmental protection in the state of WV.

As the Clean Water Campaign Coordinator, Maria hopes to combine policy progress with community engagement to ensure effective participation in shaping the future we hope to see.

In her downtime, you can find Maria walking barefoot through the woods at Sistermoon Farm, listening to live music, or floating down the river with friends.

Maggie Stange
Communications Manager

Maggie grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where she was most at home catching frogs and fishing with her grandfathers throughout the region. Now, Maggie calls the New River Gorge home.

Maggie brings a decade of communications and fundraising experience to the WV Rivers team. She will manage and develop communications, marketing, and advocacy materials; support fundraising efforts; and work alongside program staff to promote the impact of WVRC’s projects and campaigns.

Image of new team member Maggie Stange standing along the Deer Creek River in Pocahontas County, WV. There is a lens flare from the sun in the photo and the river is shimmering while Maggie smiles at the camera.

Since 2018, Maggie has raised more than $12 million online alone for progressive movements and causes across the county.

In her free time, Maggie enjoys swimming and kayaking in all the exceptional streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes West Virginia offers with her rescue Corgi, Ozzy.

Upcoming Events from our Partners

Petrochemical Lunch & Learn Series

Join the Black Appalachian Coalition- BLAC for a five-part lunch & learn webinar series on empowering independence from petrochemicals. Sign up today to learn about building a fossil-free future.

Solar United Neighbors: Solar Co-Op & Info Sessions

Find out about solar energy and its benefits for your home or small business. Solar United Neighbors will take you through the technology, economics, financing, and more.

Biden, #StopMVP Now Rally in Washington, D.C.

Will you support frontline #StopMVP activists by attending their rally on June 8th at 2 pm ET in front of the White House? This is a critical moment to stop the unfinished Mountain Valley Pipeline.

P.S. Financial contributions, large or small, help sustain our operations and support our projects across the state. If you are in a position to give today, can we count on you to contribute $25, $50, or any amount you can to ensure we head into summer strong?

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