Nov 17, 2020

West Virginia Rivers Coalition Launches Interactive Website

The City of Martinsburg and West Virginia Rivers Coalition launched an interactive website for clean water protection efforts.

storm water

The City of Martinsburg and West Virginia Rivers Coalition launched an interactive website. 

The website allows residents of the Eastern Panhandle’s three counties to see which watershed systems they most closely impact, reported the Journal. The aim is to encourage the public to take a more active role in clean water protection efforts.

Tanner Haid, Eastern Panhandle field coordinator for West Virginia Rivers Coalition, said the goal of the coalition is to connect people locally to the statewide network under West Virginia Rivers. This would in turn protect the state’s streams and rivers.

“Overall, the Eastern Panhandle is really fortunate in that between the three counties, we have eight active watershed groups, which are groups of people who want to work together to protect our land and water and do community-based projects to accomplish those goals,” said Haid. “As an organization, our success statewide is tied to these local groups. It’s through them that we attain and achieve a lot of the clean-water goals we have as an organization, as well as for people like the City of Martinsburg.”

According to Jared Tomlin, storm water coordinator for the City of Martinsburg, the city is a Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, or MS4, community. 

“Last year, (city stormwater) did the Berkeley County Youth Fair, and Tanner was there with other water organizations and had made a map where you could see watersheds associated with various communities in the area,” said Tomlin. “And we thought it’d be cool if we could digitize this and make it available for those in other areas to directly see where there home is in relation to local watersheds. This year, with COVID, it was possible to make it a reality over the summer… and the idea is for the site to be a fun exploratory tool and a source of direction and resources.”

According to Becca Russell, a storm water technician with the city, residents are able to go onto the interactive site and search for their address, reported the Journal. This will help people in the community see firsthand which river connects to which watershed and then the contact information and mission statement of the corresponding watershed group.

This is dubbed the “Find Your Watershed” tool, which covers all of Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties. 

The local watershed groups include: the Blue Heron Environmental Network, Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition, Bullskin Run Watershed Group, Elks Run Watershed Group, Friends of the Cacapon River, Sleepy Creek Watershed Association, Opequon Watershed Inc. and Warm Springs Run Watershed Association.

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