It would be a grave mistake on the part of the West Virginia Division of Highways and Federal Highway Administration, and a major disservice to local communities, to threaten the Blackwater River and simultaneously hinder the growth of the thriving outdoor recreation economy in this area. To those who know and love Tucker County—the Blackwater Canyon is the heart and soul of this region.

Olivia Miller, Program Director of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Threat: Highway Construction

West Virginia’s Blackwater River headwaters in the Canaan Valley–and Blackwater Falls State Park–are a beloved recreational and scenic treasure, and a popular destination for wildlife and nature lovers, boaters, cyclists, hikers, skiers, hunters and fishers. But the Blackwater is at risk. The current state-proposed route for a major four-lane “Corridor H“ highway complex would divide local communities and cross sensitive headwater streams, destroy delicate habitat, and pollute key tributaries. Take action now to save the Blackwater and urge the State and Federal Highway Administration to mandate an alternative Northern Route.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:
  • Friends of the Blackwater
  • WV Rivers Coalition
  • WV Highlands Conservancy
  • ABRA Conservation Hub
  • WV ECouncil
  • Sierra Club, West Virginia Chapter
  • Go North Corridor H Alliance

“Although the Ohio River spans many miles, it unites everyone; from those that draw their drinking water to those that recreate along its many diverse landscapes. We must protect the river so that we, and future generations, can have a fishable, swimmable, drinkable Ohio River.”

Jess Friss, Director of Community Programs, Three Rivers Waterkeeper 

Threat: Pollution & Climate Change

The Ohio River unifies 30 million people across 15 states, from New York to Mississippi. Protecting this precious resource is essential to ensuring the endurance of cultural identity, historical significance, biodiversity, vibrant river communities, and safe drinking water. But the upper river is threatened by industrialization and pollution, recently exemplified by the East Palestine train derailment. This ongoing chemical disaster underscores the vulnerability of the Ohio River and need for increased safeguards and durable funding for additional and continuous monitoring. To protect the Ohio River, Congress must designate the river as a federally protected water system and commit to significantly fund both the Ohio River Restoration Plan and Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission’s technical upgrades.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:
  • West Virginia River Coalition
  • Three Rivers Waterkeeper (PA)
  • Ohio Environmental Council