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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.

Savage River Release Coming Up on September 26th!

posted September 22, 2015
by Charlie and Sandy Walbridge
article photo 3

The last 2015 whitewater release on the Savage River in Western Maryland will be on Saturday, September 26th from 10 AM to 4 PM. This is a lively, continuous Class III-IV run in a beautiful valley. Because of landowner requirements at the takeout EVERYONE needs to sign the waiver and use the shuttle provided by Garrett College Adventuresports Institute. They did a great job with the shuttle on the other releases and the river is a hoot! Be ready to pay a few bucks to cover expenses. Many thanks to Mike Logsdon and his GC crew for making this happen!

Virginia Paddling Rights Clarified – Respect for Landowners Vital

posted September 3, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Virginia officials have confirmed that they consider Johns Creek and several other whitewater streams navigable and public unless proven otherwise. This is a common sense approach that respects the rights of citizens that own property adjacent to rivers, as well those who wish to rightfully enjoy those public rivers and streams. Legal challenges are possible though, and we encourage caution, discretion, and respect within the paddling community as this exciting development plays out.  

Dam Owner Offers No Releases on New River Dries

posted August 4, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 8

Yesterday, the power company that de-waters the New River Dries with the Hawks Nest Dam proposed zero dam releases to mitigate their impacts on whitewater recreation and naturally variable flow patterns.  American Whitewater will be offering a balanced response to this extreme proposal that outlines the value and potential for restoring significant recreational and ecological values to the New River.  

Virginia Announces New Bridge Access Program

posted July 14, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Late last week, the Commonwealth of Virginia took a great step forward in enhancing public access to rivers and streams. Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a memorandum of understanding that directs three state agencies to work together to identify new potential public-access projects, particularly at bridge crossings and roads. American Whitewater applauds the efforts of Governor McAuliffe to keep Virginia residents and visitors alike connected to the Commonwealth's outstanding rivers and streams.

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

posted June 2, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy. 

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

July 2015

Great Falls Race
11:00 am -1:30 pm est
Race times. See www.greatfallsrace.org for more info.


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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Great Falls Race Great Falls,MD runs 07/04/15 - 07/04/15
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Lehigh River Release White Haven,PA runs 05/10/08 - 09/01/13
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Stonycreek River Releases Johnstown,PA runs 06/02/12 - 10/21/12
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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
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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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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.