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Fresh faces at the Piney Creek Watershed work to protect water supply

Fresh faces at the Piney Creek Watershed work to protect water
Fresh faces at the Piney Creek Watershed work to protect water(wvva)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 3:10 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - There are some fresh faces at the Piney Creek Watershed Association in Beckley.

Jim Fedders has recently returned to the role of Executive Director, bringing on a new Community Relations Director in Kate Sopher.

The two showed WVVA News some of their efforts underway to keep the local water supply safe on Friday. Their area covers all of the bodies of water in Beckley and parts of Raleigh County.

“The overall role of the Piney Creek Watershed Association is to improve the quality of water in our watershed,” explained Fedders.

One of the organization’s most recent projects included transforming the pond outside of Woodrow Wilson High School into a wetland. A couple of years ago, the geese coming to that pond brought so much fecal matter that the health department had to get involved.

“Wetlands are known for cleaning the water. The water flowing out of this wetland is now actually cleaner than the water that went into it. We’re moving from a source of pollution to something that’s actually cleaning our streams.”

The organization has also worked to re-vegetate barren areas along New River Drive that were contributing to the buildup of sediment in the area.

But according to Sopher, a lot of their work starts before pollution enters the streams. The Piney Creek Watershed hosts lots of litter pickups around the area as well.

“You see it on the side of the road and you say, where does that trash end up going? It can go into the watershed and that’s why we do litter pickups, stream pickups, and water monitoring --- to assess the quality of the water.”

Sopher hopes to encourage more community involvement whether it be through litter cleanups or through boosting membership.

“So if you’re into the planet and habits and how you do things, think about looking more into the watershed and the Piney Creek Watershed.”

To learn more, visit:

Conservation | Piney Creek Watershed Association | Beckley

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