Water

From the pristine headwaters of the Blackwater River to the mine-scarred tributaries of the North Fork, we work to protect and restore the vital watersheds and mountain streams that all of us depend upon.

water quality monitoring involving a tape measure and a flow meter

Latest News

view of Douglas Falls from above

New Grant to Improve Water Quality Monitoring

Friends of Blackwater is excited to announce that we will be adding to our water quality monitoring program, with help from the North Face. The new grant we have received from the North Face will help us purchase 8 automated sensors, that will collect continuous data on local waterways. This will provide much more detailed […]

from Matthew Umstead

Waterfalls

All the rain we’ve been having lately has made some great waterfalls, featured in this video. All these waterfalls are visible from the Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail!

musicians performing on the festival stage at Cheat Fest

Cheat Fest Fun

Cheat Fest, the annual music festival fundraiser for Friends of the Cheat, seems to get bigger and better every year. This year was no exception, and spirits were high despite some rain Saturday afternoon. Friends of Blackwater had a table in the non-profit tent, and we enjoyed talking to festival-goers about our watershed restoraion work […]

wald_housing

First Brick in the WALD

As part of our Beaver Creek project, FOB had the opportunity to make improvements to the inflow structure at the Wetland Anoxic Limestone Drain (WALD) adjacent to the North Fork of the Blackwater.  Local craftsmen Lon Marshall and Tommy Ashton rebuilt the structure and were so generous with their time that FOB was able to […]

beaver creek newsletter pH

Beaver Creek Update June 2018

Despite being neighbors, the North Fork watershed and the Beaver Creek watershed are quite different in character and temperament.  With its high elevation and low gradient, Beaver Creek quietly glides through a maze of wetlands that one would expect to find in Canada, while the North Fork (often loudly) rages down the Blackwater Canyon. After […]

Blackwater Falls

Blackwater River Fun Facts

Where is the Blackwater River? The Blackwater River is located in Tucker County, West Virginia. Its headwaters are in Canaan Valley, and from there it makes its way past the towns of Thomas and Davis. The Blackwater passes through some amazing public lands on its journey, including Canaan Valley State Park, Canaan Valley National Wildlife […]

two pipes discharge water into the North Fork

Watershed Based Plans

In order to do watershed remediation work in West Virginia, organizations must have a watershed based plan that has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. There are many different elements that go in to a watershed based plan including: -A description of the watershed, its geography, geology, and existing land uses -Identification of […]

water quality monitoring using a sensor on a small stream impaired by acid mine drainage

March 2018 Watershed Update

North Fork of the Blackwater Pop quiz: what is red and white and weighs 400 pounds? No, it’s not the world’s largest candy cane.  It’s the DAILY weight of dissolved iron and aluminum in the acid mine drainage (“AMD”) that is coming out of the underground “Coketon Mine Pool” (old collapsed and abandoned mine workings) […]

view of Douglas Falls from above

Acid Mine Drainage

The water cycle is simple: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration — and repeat.  Simple, but only part of the story.  Thanks to legacy left behind from coal mining, the water in our Blackwater River can become far more than simply a mix of hydrogen and oxygen.  Here’s how: The Upper Freeport coal seam dips downhill towards […]