WVPA Sharing

West Virginia’s formerly polluted rivers are shining example

By William Dean, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Cleaning a body of water is a complicated and expensive process, but the area’s waterways show even the worst polluted rivers, lakes and creeks can be restored to productive fisheries and boost the economy.

Acid mine drainage, a legacy left by West Virginia’s once-thriving coal mining industry, is identifiable by the orange-yellow iron hydroxide in which it covers water bottoms. The high acidity is devastating to an ecosystem. 

But thanks to many partnerships involving governments of all levels, nonprofits, individuals and higher education, many of the area’s waterways are starting to thrive.

Places such as Cheat Lake, Cheat River, Deckers Creek and Monongahela River are success stories in watershed restoration, said Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of West Virginia University’s Water Research Institute…

To read more: https://www.dominionpost.com/2022/04/21/states-formerly-polluted-rivers-are-shining-example/

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