Monitoring Newsletter: Summer 2023 Edition
Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Next Quarterly Volunteer Teleconference

Please join us for our next volunteer conference call on Monday, August 28th at 7 pm. This call will be hosted on Zoom, with both video conference and dial-in by phone options.

We will provide MVP updates, monitoring reminders, and discuss our upcoming Snapshot Day. We hope you can join the discussion!

When: Monday, August 28th at 7pm
Email for the Zoom link!

Help Friends of the Cheat Collect Eastern Hellbender e-DNA

Image of an Eastern Hellbender.

Friends of the Cheat is seeking volunteers that can commit full days (8-10 hrs) with their team in August and September to collect Eastern Hellbender environmental-DNA samples across the Cheat River watershed.

The work will involve working in streams and rivers and some hiking with gear. Sites will be clumped near Kingwood, Elkins, and Parsons.

Fill out this this form with your availability and contact information, and a Friends of the Cheat staff member will reach out shortly with scheduling and further instructions.

We Are These Mountains Event

Communities impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline just entered their 10th year of working to protect their land and water from an unnecessary project, and they need your energy and support to hold MVP accountable.

Join us from August 25th to 27th in Sweet Springs to support the 10-year resistance against the Mountain Valley Pipeline for a weekend of trainings, art-making, music, and food!

Save the (New) Date for Snapshot Day: October 1, 2023!

Save the (New) Date: Join us for Snapshot Day on the rescheduled date of Sunday, October 1st from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Stuart Recreation Area in Elkins, WV.

Interested members of the public and monitors from the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program will gather in the Monongahela National Forest to capture a “snapshot” of the water quality in our headwater streams.

Volunteers will work in teams, each receiving a set of sites where they will collect water quality data. These data will help establish baseline conditions and track changes in water quality over time.

We will also recognize active monitors and monitors who have volunteered with our program since its inception one decade ago! You can view the schedule and register here.

MVP Update: Visual Assessment Training Interest & Greenbrier River Training

Image of a stream being crossed by MVP by way of a timber mat bridge. The mountainside is torn through, and a silt fence blocks the stream from runoff and contamination.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is moving ahead with construction on approximately 550 waterbody crossings. Now, more than ever, we need volunteers to monitor construction activities and report potential pollution events. If you are interested in conducting pipeline visual assessments, sign up here.

Next Thursday, August 31st, at 4 pm, there will be a targeted training to monitor the Greenbrier River crossing. The crossing will take approximately 4 to 6 months to complete. Register here.

If you don’t live in the watershed but know someone who does, please forward them this opportunity!

10-Year Volunteer Spotlight: Jane Birdsong

Image of Jane Birdsong paddling in a kayak. She is wearing a baseball cap, a red life jacket, and holding a paddle with one end in the water and the other out. She is smiling big.

Jane began water quality monitoring with Hoosier RiverWatch in southern Indiana. As soon as she heard about a similar program in West Virginia, she signed up! Through the WV Rivers/Trout Unlimited WV/VA Water Quality Monitoring Project, she has consistently monitored four streams for the past 10 years: two in Upshur County and two in Randolph County. When she started monitoring, her main concern was water pollution associated with fracking. She knew that fracking activities would only add to sedimentation and other water quality issues affecting aquatic life in WV streams. Last year she began monitoring an additional two streams, in Tucker County near Douglas Falls, in response to the planned Corridor H highway construction. As she knows well, it is important to have baseline data prior to the start of destructive activities for “before & after” comparison. She believes Water is Life and loves rivers and streams. As West Virginia is the birthplace of countless rivers and streams, it is even more important our waterways be protected from destructive activities.

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