West Virginia Rivers Coalition –Protecting the Water in Marlinton
Everybody cares about fresh, clean water–and in Pocahontas County, having such waters are truly a unique and remarkable resource we have been blessed with. Among the many organizations working to ensure that our waters remain pristine is the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.
On Thursday, April 27th, the WV Rivers Coalition, along with their community and agency partners, hosted an event in Marlinton to learn about local watershed protection efforts as part of “Safe Waters for West Virginia.” Autumn Crowe, the Program Director for the WV Rivers Coalition tells us about what transpired at that event.
“West Virginia Rivers coalition is a state-wide non-profit” said Autumn. “We work to ensure that our rivers are fishable, swimmable and drinkable. We recently had an event in Marlinton, West Virginia, which was funded by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health and Human Resources, and this program was part of our ‘Safe Water for West Virginians Program.’ We worked with the town of Marlinton and the West Virginia Conservation Agency to educate people about the work that’s being done on Knapps Creek. Marlinton is a unique area in the state in that there is a source Water Protection Plan for Knapps Creek that overlaps with an area where there is a Watershed Base Plan developed by the West Virginia Water Conservation Agency. That Watershed Base Plan was put in place to address non point sources of pollution. The Source Water Protection Plans were developed as a result of the chemical spill that occurred in Charleston in 2014. So there are a lot of overlapping goals in the Water Source Protection Plan and the Watershed Base Plan. So the purpose of the meeting was to gather everybody in one place and discuss the overlapping goals and how we can work towards achieving those goals.
“Sam Felton, the Mayor of Marlinton and Jim Mitchem discussed the Marlinton Source Water Protection Plan and what the Town is doing to protect the drinking water source. And Dennis burns from the West Virginia Conservation Agency discussed the projects thay have completed on Knapps Creek – working with landowners on stream restoration and agriculture best management practices. So the community came together to hear about these important topics and then discuss ways that we can work towards improving the drinking water resource and protect it. Marlinton has one of the most pristine water sources in the state. In a lot of other watersheds you see a lot of industry and development. Marlinton is fortunate to have a pristine water source that starts in the Monongahela National Forest, so we want to make sure we protect that important resource. So following the public event that we had, we’ll be meeting with our partners and discussing future plans for watershed and drinking water protection.”
Autumn also tells us about what the average citizen who loves near a creek or stream can do to help out.
“There is a lot of things people can do to protect the water resources in your backyard” Autumn says. “Keep your yard clean of trash so that if we have a flood event, all that trash doesn’t go into the river. Get involved with your local watershed group. There’s two in this area, Eight Rivers Council and Greenbrier River Watershed Association.”
Autumn provides her contact information if anybody would like to learn more or help out.