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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.

Join us at the Deerfield Fest on July 12th in Charlemont (MA)

posted July 9, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
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This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. The festival is an opportunity to come together with your paddling friends and listen to live music, check out the festival vendors, and maybe win a boat and other gear at the silent auction.

Jamie McEwan, Olympic canoe racer, passes

posted June 16, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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Jamie McEwan, the whitewater canoe racer whose skill inspired a generation of paddlers, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 14th. He was 61. In 1972 Jamie, then 19, won a bronze medal in C-1 Slalom at the Olympic games in Munich, Germany. That medal, the first won by an American, inspired many younger paddlers (including several future  medalists) to train hard and become champions. Twenty years later, he teamed up with partner Lecky Haller to finish 4th in C-2 Slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. His astonishing career continued when, in 2001, he made the U.S. Whitewater Team paddling C-2 with his son Devin. He also participated in serious river expeditions to Mexico, British Columbia, Bhutan, and Tibet. Recently he helped create the Whitewater Slalom Foundation, which supports for a network of Regional Junior Whitewater Teams to encourage youth participation in the sport. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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:



Upcoming Events

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August 2014

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Gauley River (WV) Releases
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Summer Evening Releases250 cfs

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Events
Potomac, North Branch Release Luke,MD runs 08/26/06 - 05/18/14
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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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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 08/16/14
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Presented by Subaru Summersville,WV runs 09/20/13 - 09/21/13
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Savage River Release Savage River Dam,MD runs 09/09/07 - 07/06/14
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Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/20/13
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  (iCal)  

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.