This is another in a series of profiles of the member groups of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance.
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
In 1990 a group of concerned citizens gathered in a private home to form what was to become a statewide organization to promote the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of West Virginia’s beautiful rivers and streams so that they could be enjoyed by present and future generations. The West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) was the result, becoming the first statewide river advocacy group east of the Rockies. In the ensuing 29 years, WV Rivers has grown to become a vital voice for environmental and conservation advocacy in West Virginia, and a leading member of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance.
Among the initiatives that WV Rivers has launched in furtherance of its mission is its Safe Water for West Virginia Program, which is designed to help utilities by involving public agencies and citizen groups in implementing source water protection plans and watershed protection. This included production of Drinking Water Protection: A Citizen’s Guide to Getting Involved, a toolkit to educate community stakeholders and prepare them to take on a leadership role in source water protection planning.
Another major focus of WV River’s work is its concern for public lands, which its website notes “are the birthplace of our exceptional rivers and streams; they provide drinking water for thousands of West Virginians.” Accordingly, the Coalition coordinates West Virginians for Public Lands, an alliance of individuals, businesses and organizations working to enhance and protect our public lands and waters.
WV Rivers is a prominent defender of water resources threatened by natural gas pipelines in West Virginia, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Angie Rosser, WVR Rivers’ Executive Director, serves on ABRA’s Steering Committee. Autumn Leah Crowe, Staff Scientist for WV Rivers, serves as West Virginia Coordinator for ABRA’s CSI program.
For more on the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, including how to a member and supporter of its important work, visit https://wvrivers.org/.