Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle and Elk River Photo Map

One Year After Flood, WV Rivers Launches Elk River Photo Documentary Project

WV Rivers invites volunteers to document lasting flood impacts to the Elk River in pictures

Charleston WV — June 23, marked the one-year observation of the devastating flooding that impacted many parts of West Virginia. West Virginia Rivers Coalition is launching a crowd-sourced photo documentary project on one of the impacted rivers — the Elk River — to document lasting effects of the flood.

People interested in contributing to the project can download a free app called Water Reporter; download the app here, to their phones. The app allows users to upload photos to an online map, creating an inventory of potential cleanup projects. Anyone who spends time on or by the river is invited to contribute.

Although much of the Elk River is once again open for recreation, there are still dangerous spots containing debris like household appliances, tires, and home furnishings.

“Several affected communities still have a long way to go to fully recover. Seeing the river restored to its health and beauty is part of that healing process. This project is a way for people to help identify areas of the river itself that still need attention,” said Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Executive Director.

The photo documentary will be on display during West Virginia Rivers’ Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle. Scheduled for Labor Day, September 4, at Coonskin Park, the free event invites paddlers of all ages and skill levels to participate in a 3-mile float on the Elk River ending at Coonskin. Paddlers will be welcomed with a free picnic and family friendly Elk River festival once they are off the river.

The Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance’s SPLASH event series and benefits the West Virginia Headwaters Waterkeeper, a program of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. For information on the Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle, click here. For more information on the and the Elk River photo documentary project, click here.

For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota, please visit www.splashseries.org.

WV Rivers’ Angie Rosser Recognized by the National Wildlife Federation

Angie Rosser Honored with National Wildlife Federation’s Charlie Shaw Partnership Award

WV Rivers’ executive director Angie Rosser, second from left, with staff member Kathleen Tyner, mother Annette Lang, and Annette’s husband Bob Lang.

The National Wildlife Federation named Angie Rosser of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition the recipient of its 2017 Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award. The award honors one person each year from among the Federation’s affiliates; WV Rivers is the NWF West Virginia affiliate. Rosser was honored for her efforts to protect rivers and wildlife habitat in West Virginia and nationwide.

“The words ‘fearless,’ ‘tireless’ and ‘effective’ perfectly describe Angie Rosser’s advocacy for West Virginia’s waters and wildlife,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thanks to Angie’s leadership, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition has broadened its reach and increased its impact. She is a phenomenal partner, and we are honored to have her as part of the Federation family.

The award ceremony took place June 10 at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting held at Skamania Lodge, in Stevenson, Washington. “Every day, Angie demonstrates her leadership and her passion for rivers, wetlands, and the wildlife that depend on them, both in West Virginia and nationwide,” said Hilary Falk, a regional executive director with the National Wildlife Federation. “Angie has a knack for uniting diverse voices to raise the profile of an issue, whether it is the need for clean drinking water or the importance of public lands.”

Called an integral part of the National Wildlife Federation by O’Mara, Rosser serves as co-chair of the Federation’s Water Caucus and as co-chair of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, which works to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Rosser works to create partnerships on conservation issues with leaders from across the country, but it’s her deep passion for the work that inspires others in the National Wildlife Federation and beyond.

“I feel so humbled by the recognition,” said Rosser. “To me, it’s comforting to know that the nation is watching West Virginia. They see people here working to protect the waters that people and wildlife depend on; they know these are often uphill battles in our state. And they recognize the good work we are all doing together.”

You can read more about the collaborative partnership and shared values between National Wildlife Federation and West Virginia Rivers in this joint op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

For Release: Angie Rosser of WV Rivers Coalition Named National River Hero

CONTACT: Kathleen Tyner, (304) 637-7201, KTyner@WVRivers.org
WV Rivers Coalition’s Angie Rosser Named River Hero
Award from River Network cites Rosser’s work at making clean water a non-partisan issue
Charleston, WV — The River Network, a Colorado-based national nonprofit organization that supports local and statewide organizations involved in restoring and protecting rivers and streams, has named WV Rivers Coalition’s executive director Angie Rosser as one of its 2017 River Heroes. The River Heroes Award was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate people whose efforts to protect and restore their local waters have been extraordinary in scope, scale, impact and heart.
River Network cited Rosser’s work as a steady voice and unifier across political lines, tapping into the values everyone in West Virginia shares: “As the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean rivers and streams in West Virginia, WV Rivers unites diverse coalitions who understand the connection between our public recreation lands and the waters on which we all rely.”
Rosser joined West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) as the executive director in 2012, after serving on the board of directors, with a background working in West Virginia on social justice issues in the nonprofit sector. She is known as someone who brings both a professional commitment to clean water for the common good, as well as a personal desire to protect the waters of the Elk River that flow through her backyard.
Rosser’s colleagues applauded her selection as a River Hero. Evan Hansen, president of Downstream Strategies in Morgantown, said, “During the 2014 water crisis, Angie was the critical public figure who turned the community’s rage into action.”
Paul Dalzell of WV Environmental Council credits Rosser for inspiring him to work for clean air and water. “I would not be doing the work I do without Angie’s leadership, passion, knowledge, and clear focus on protecting the rivers,” he said. “She truly is a River Hero.”
WV Rivers is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Hilary Harp Falk, a regional executive director for NWF, said, “Being a woman conservation leader is not easy. But in four short years Angie has become a leader for rivers in the state and across the country.”
Rosser credits WV Rivers staff and volunteers for the award, and for the growing awareness of the need for safe water. “She brings a unique leadership style and inclusive attitude that proves very effective in building a strong coalition of supporters,” said Autumn Crowe, WV Rivers program director.
WV Rivers outreach manager Kathleen Tyner said she appreciates Rosser’s inclusive approach: “Angie’s ability to bring folks from different paths and viewpoints together, for the betterment of our rivers and streams, is an inspiration to all who work with her.”