What’s Happening at WV Rivers – September 2023
The Clean Water Act requires the WV Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to submit a “303(d) List,” which is a list of impaired streams or streams that do not meet water quality standards, to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) every two years.
WVDEP previously had not submitted a 303(d) List in six years but has recently submitted a combined impaired streams list for 2018, 2020, and 2022. In response to this submission, EPA noted an additional 346 streams, over 1,600 stream miles, missing from the list.
Before the webinar, we encourage you to look at the EPA web map to see which streams in your watershed have been identified as impaired.
After a brief rescheduling, we’re excited to share that the eagerly awaited Mon Forest Snapshot Day will take place on Sunday, October 1st, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the stunning Stuart Recreation Area in Elkins, WV.
Nestled within the serene embrace of the Monongahela National Forest, this event offers a chance for concerned citizens and seasoned water quality monitors to come together, contribute to science, and celebrate a decade of environmental stewardship.
The primary objective of Snapshot Day is to assess the water quality of the headwater streams within the region. With your participation, this event aims to create a comprehensive overview of the current state of these vital and pristine water sources. By gathering data from various sites, participants will contribute to establishing baseline water quality conditions and tracking changes over time to ensure the health of these ecosystems.
Since this year marks a milestone — a full decade since the program’s inception — a special segment will recognize and celebrate the active monitors and volunteers who have been an integral part of the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program since its earliest days. Their dedication and passion have helped shape the program into what it is today.
We hope to see you there!
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is rushing to complete one of the most technical parts of the construction process. The company will bore a 1,250-foot-long hole 13 feet below the stream bed of the Greenbrier River near Talcott, WV.
Right now, MVP is pumping out up to a million gallons of water out of the Greenbrier, which is in low-flow conditions as it is. They are mixing that with bentonite mud to lubricate the drill rig. They then have to handle that slurry properly. The bore pits are below the water table. They’ll fill up with water, and that muddy water will have to be pumped out of the pits.
Program Manager Autumn Crowe told Appalachian Voices that her worst fear is a bentonite blowout, where the drill bit encounters fractured bedrock, and that bentonite lubrication would move through the fractured bedrock and enter the stream bed, impacting every creature and community downstream.
What’s more, Autumn stated, “We’ve already seen crossings go wrong in previous construction, which doesn’t lead to much confidence — especially now that they are rushing through to complete the process, cutting corners and overworking their employees. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
Our trained volunteers play a critical role in collecting valuable data and conducting visual assessments before, during, and after pipeline construction. This training will empower citizen monitors to identify erosion and sedimentation impacts resulting from pipeline development.
We hope to see you there.
*Please note this training is limited to 25 participants, so RSVP today.*
This National Public Lands Day, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and West Virginians for Public Lands asked artists for their help to “create” the Monongahela National Forest
The response was nothing short of spectacular. Ten local artisans participated on social media, tagging @WVRivers, @WVPublicLands, and #CreateTheMon on their work — and a handful have shared their work to help us fill a digital gallery that captures the essence of this cherished wilderness. Each piece is a testament to the profound connection between art and the natural world, celebrating the unspoiled beauty of our Mon Forest.
The Create The Mon gallery is an invitation to all to witness the beauty that inspired these WV artists and to join in the mission to protect this invaluable natural legacy for generations to come.
Explore the gallery today and be transported into the heart of the Monongahela, where creativity meets conservation in a celebration of our public lands.
Earlier this month, groups of West Virginians traveled to NYC to participate in Climate Week. WV Rivers MVP Organizer Mariah Clay joined for the march, which has been estimated to have between 50,000 to 70,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities come together to advocate for urgent action against climate change.
Frontline communities, including Indigenous peoples, those hailing from the Gulf Coast, and resilient Appalachians, took their rightful place at the forefront of the march. Their presence underscored the pressing need to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on these vulnerable communities.
Mariah shared sentiments about the experience: “Being surrounded by so many dedicated souls was truly inspiring. We were marching not just for ourselves but for future generations. It’s a powerful reminder that we’re not alone.”
With nearly 70,000 people walking alongside them, Mariah and fellow organizers acknowledged that this was just the beginning. They recognize that there are tens of thousands more at home, equally committed to immediate and decisive climate action.
Together, we stand united in unwavering pursuit of a sustainable and equitable future for all.
Celebrating Morgan King’s New Role and Continued Impact in West Virginia
WV Rivers Climate Campaign Organizer, Morgan King, has embarked on a new role with the Climate Reality Project. While we are sad to bid farewell to Morgan, we are incredibly proud of the impactful work she accomplished during her time with us.
Morgan’s dedication and hard work have been instrumental in advancing our mission to ensure access to clean water and healthy environments for all West Virginians. Here are just a few highlights of her contributions:
- She played a key role in organizing and facilitating the WV Climate Alliance, fostering collaboration and engagement among various stakeholders working towards climate solutions in West Virginia.
- Morgan conducted informative community workshops on the Inflation Reduction Act, reaching communities in Charleston, Fayetteville, Morgantown, and Gauley Bridge, and empowering informed decision-making.
- In Montgomery, Morgan led a focus group on the concept of a “just transition,” engaging with 25 individuals and creating a platform for meaningful discussions about transitioning to a sustainable, equitable, and carbon-free future.
- Her expertise and dedication shone through during a presentation to a WVU Civil Engineering Class on Climate Policy, contributing to the education and understanding of future environmental professionals.
Earlier this year, Morgan was selected for the prestigious Carbon Removal Justice Fellows Program at American University’s Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, showcasing her exceptional skills and knowledge in the field. Morgan’s acceptance into the Carbon Removal Justice Fellows Program reflects not only her exceptional skills and knowledge, but also recognizes that West Virginia can be a leader in the field of carbon removal.
Morgan’s place at the table will benefit those in our communities who face the most significant harm from climate change and the fossil fuel economy. We are excited to see the incredible impact Morgan will have in her new role, advocating for climate solutions in West Virginia and beyond.
While she will be greatly missed, we know she will continue to make waves in the fight for a sustainable future.
Please join us in wishing Morgan all the best in this new chapter of her journey.
Upcoming Events from our Partners
Mountain State Forest Festival
September 30 – October 8
Save Coonskin Park Rally
October 1 | 12 PM – 5 PM
Kanawha County, WV
Thunder in the Mountains Pow-Wow
Walk in the Woods: Sam Michael’s Park
October 21 | 2 PM – 5 PM
Harpers Ferry, WV
Rain Garden Planting at Sam Michael’s Park
October 21 | 3 PM – 5 PM
Harpers Ferry, WV
WV Environmental Council Annual Meeting