West Virginia Rivers Coalition receives financial boost from Virginia environmental group
The West Virginia Rivers Coalition, also known as WV Rivers announced Monday that they had received a 2 year $80,000.00 grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment. The Endowment has long supported the WV Rivers coalition, providing over $680,000.00 in grant funding since 1992. The money has been used to support the coalitions’ efforts to advance an independent, science-based approach to regional and statewide water quality discussions in the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys and beyond, according to a press release from the coalition.
This latest grant will be used by WV Rivers to help provide analysis of proposed policies affecting water quality across West Virginia. Special emphasis will be given to protecting the headwaters that feed West Virginian’s drinking water supplies.
The grant also supports the launch of the Drinking Water Protection Community Engagement Project as well as the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument campaign. That campaign with the Cranberry Wilderness at its heart would be based in Pocahontas County, where the headwaters of eight West Rivers are located.The proposed monument has been a topic of dissention in Pocahontas pitting environmental concerns against those who hunt, fish and recreate in the Monongahela National forest that covers a significant part of the county. Some sportsman fear the designation will put restrictions on the use of the land within the monument and possibly affect a source of tourism dollars that flow into the county.
According to the press release, the partnership between the Endowment and WV Rivers provided the only independent analysis and a number of recommended reforms in the wake of the 2014 chemical leak and drinking water crisis on the Elk River that left close to 300,000 people in nine WV counties without a source of clean drinking water. Many of those reforms were later adopted by the state legislature.
Founded in 1989, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving and restoring the state’s more than 40,000 miles of rivers and streams. You can find more information about them at www.wvrivers.org.
The Virginia Environmental Endowment is a private, independent grant-making foundation based in Richmond Virginia. It was established in 1977, and has made over 1200 grants, mainly in Virginia. You can learn more about this group at www.vee.org.