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AW in the MidAtlantic

American Whitewater has a long history of working in the Mid-Atlantic. Our regional conservation and access program is directed towards securing recreational releases from dams and securing public access points to rivers, which would otherwise be lost due to development. Our work on securing releases on the Gauley and Yough (both Upper and Lower) have proven integral to developing regional rural economic strategies and building sustainable commercial markets for eco-tourism opportunities. We are lucky that West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have fairly strong navigability and public access laws; however we are vigilant for any legislation that would reduce the public right to float. We are also increasingly concerned about the state of water quality in the Mid-Atlantic and the effect of surface mining and extractive mountain top mining removal in which unusable dross is simply pushed into sensitive headwaters streams and creeks.

Friends of the Cheat Celebrates 20th Anniversary

posted April 18, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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American Whitewater congratulates Friends of the Cheat as it celebrates its 20th anniversary at the annual Cheat River Festival on May 3rd. The organization, founded by a group of whitewater paddlers and local residents, has been a driving force in the river’s rapidly improving water quality. The river, which was badly polluted when the group was founded, recently passed a significant milestone: the lower 26 miles of the Cheat River main were removed from the state’s list of acid-impaired waters in 2012! In addition, FOC maintains four paddling access areas on the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers. American Whitewater worked closely with FOC in developing these sites. For more information on this year's CheatFest use this link: http://www.cheat.org/our-work/cheat-river-festival/.


Breaking News: Cheat River Canyon Purchased and Protected!

posted April 11, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Thanks to the tireless work of The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund over 3,800 acres of the Cheat River Canyon were recently protected. The acquisition covers a 7 mile stretch of the Cheat River between Albright and the high bridge at Jenkinsburg, the famous “Cheat Canyon” whitewater run.  Great news for the Cheat!

April Volunteer of the Month Presented by Kokatat

posted April 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce our April Volunteer of the Month, Jess Whittemore. For his leadership in securing additional boater access at the Upper Yough (MD) takeout Jess will be receiving a custom Kokatat Woolcore Shirt!

New River Dries Flow Study - Participate Online

posted March 25, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Paddlers that run the New River Dries (WV) between now and July 31, 2014 are encouraged to fill out a flow study survey after each day on the water.  Submitting surveys will add important data to the Extended Whitewater Evaluation Study and will greatly help American Whitewater and others negotiate improved flows for the New River Dries.    

Annual West River Release Bittersweet (VT)

posted October 3, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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Paddlers from throughout New England converged on Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont last weekend for the annual release on the West River. The annual one day release, held the last weekend in September, is the only remaining scheduled release by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Ball Mountain Dam. Spirits were running high as approximately 800 boaters and an additional 300 commercial rafters enjoyed the warm fall day. In past years when there were two day releases, the number paddlers coming up to the West Fest was double the number who come out for single day release. AW is continuing its efforts to restore releases to the West River.

AW Completes Purchase, Donation of Contoocook River Access (NH)

posted October 3, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater, with the help of Merrimack Valley Paddlers and local boaters, has completed its effort to acquire, protect and donate property along the Contoocook River. AW has long been involved with the Contoocook and was active in the sucessful effort in 2004 that resulted in the removal of a dam that extended the whitewater section of the river near the takeout.  The recent acquisition of land at the put-in will assure that paddlers will continue to have access to the Class III/IV section of the river which is a popular run in southern New Hampsire for paddlers throughout New England.

Friendsville - Upper Yough Parking Lot Update

posted September 23, 2013
by Charlie Walbridge
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Eighteen months ago whitewater paddlers raised over $20,000 for off-road parking in Friendsville, Maryland. This small riverside town sees a large influx of paddlers running the Upper Youghiogheny on summer weekends. Work continues despite unexpected challenges that have greatly increased costs, but the town remains committed to the project. Click through to get the latest details:

Upper Yough July 4th Update

posted June 30, 2013
by Charlie Walbridge
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The town of Friendsville will welcome paddlers to Maryland’s Upper Yough this Fourth of July Weekend. If water levels cooperate this will be a busy day on the river. For Friendsville, MD (population 491) the influx of hundreds of whitewater paddlers is not without its problems. Plan to minimize your impact on the town by driving safely, being discrete while changing clothes, and by being careful when carrying boats along busy Maple Avenue. Remember that the town requests that paddlers not park along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. It’s not strictly illegal, but it’s the kind of neighborly consideration that country people expect.! Those invited by local residents on these streets to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater maintains the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged. For an update on the planned boater parking lot, click the link below.

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

June 2014

Savage River Release
10:59 am -10:59 am est

Gauley River (WV) Releases
4:00 pm -7:00 pm est
Summer Evening Releases250 cfs

Gauley River (WV) Releases
09:00 am -4:00 pm est
1000 cfs

Gauley River (WV) Releases
10:00 am -4:00 pm est
850 cfs


Potomac, North Branch Release Luke,MD runs 08/26/06 - 05/18/14, next 05/03/14
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Upper Yough Release Friendsville,MD runs 04/15/05 - 10/15/12
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Stonycreek River Releases Johnstown,PA runs 06/02/12 - 10/21/12
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Lehigh River Release White Haven,PA runs 05/10/08 - 09/01/13
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Summersville,WV runs 09/14/12 - 09/15/12
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Savage River Release Savage River Dam,MD runs 09/09/07 - 07/05/14, next 06/07/14
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Tohickon Creek Point Pleasant,PA runs 05/20/06 - 03/18/12
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Gauley River (WV) Releases Summersville,WV runs 11/01/03 - 11/16/14, next 04/26/14
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Presented by Subaru Summersville,WV runs 09/20/13 - 09/21/13
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Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/20/13
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Related Groups

Volunteer Opportunities / Activities

Associated Projects

  • Gauley River (WV)
    For many years AW has worked on the protection of this river and advocated for public access.
  • Lehigh River (PA)
    AW has worked with local paddling clubs to improve the recreational value of dam releases on the Lehigh
  • Upper Yough Access (MD)
    AW collaboratively manages the put in for the Upper Youghiogheny River in Western Maryland.
  • Upper Yough Releases (MD)
    American Whitewater worked closely with local paddlers and other stakeholders to negotiate an improved flow regime on the Upper Yough.
  • Virginia Access
    Virginia has some superb rivers and river access laws among the worst in the Nation. American Whitewater is working to assure the basic right to float down a stream in Virginia.