Watershed volunteers came to the Capitol to talk with legislators and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to keeping WV streams and rivers clean. During this 16th annual event it was as important as ever for the legislators to understand the tireless efforts of watershed volunteers across the state. The event was sponsored by the WV Watershed Network and included a panel discussion about the new Source Water Protection Law.
The panel discussion was followed by an awards luncheon with the senators and delegates, with a keynote address by Senate Majority Leader John Unger and Governor Tomblin's remarks.
At an afternoon session of the Legislative Water Resources Commission, volunteers talked about water quality improvement projects they are working on in their communities to address acid mine drainage, sediment, fecal coliform and other sources of water pollution affecting streams throughout the state.
The WV Watershed Network is a group of state, federal and nonprofit resource providers who work closely with volunteer organizations. This year they honored 12 watershed groups and one individual for their work and commitment in protecting and restoring streams and educating their communities about watershed protection.
“We have been doing this for 16 years, and every year we continue to have volunteers with a passion for our beautiful state and strong understanding of the important role clean water plays in our economy and our health. We like to take one day out of the year to express our appreciation for a job well done.” said Jennifer Pauer, WVDEP Watershed Program Manager.
This year the Network’s highest honor went to one of WV’s longstanding and well known watershed associations. This group focuses on building partnerships through education and has been able to shine a light on new technologies to treat acid mine drainage. The Morris Creek Watershed was named the 2014 Watershed Association of the Year. The WVWN also recognized these Watershed Associations for their work in 2014:
• Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition- Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County
• Buckhannon River Watershed Association- Buckhannon, Upshur County
• Coal River Group - St. Albans, Kanawha County
• Davis Creek Watershed Association – Charleston, Kanawha County
• Fourpole Creek Watershed Association – Huntington, Cabell County
• Friends of Deckers Creek- Morgantown, Monongalia County
• Friends of the Hughes River - Harrisville Ritchie County
• Friends of the Lower Greenbrier River- Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
• Piney Creek Watershed Association – Beckley, Raleigh County
• Sleepy Creek Watershed Association – Berkeley Springs, Morgan County
• Warm Springs Watershed Association - Berkeley Springs, Morgan County
The individual recognized for her efforts to support the watershed movement outside of her watershed as a “Guiding Light” was Bethany Boback nominated by the Friend's of Deckers Creek in Morgantown, WVa.