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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.

Holtwood Whitewater Park to Open this Month (PA)

posted March 5, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

The schedule for the first year of operation of the Holtwood Whitewater Park has been posted on the dam owner's website. American Whitewater and our local partners negotiated the construction of the park and 264 hours of releases annually as mitigation for impacts of the Holtwood Hydroelectric Project.  The first scheduled release is on Saturday March 14, 2015.

AW and NPS Co-Host Access Meetings in Harpers Ferry (WV/MD/VA)

posted January 26, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 3

Earlier this month American Whitewater and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) hosted a series of meetings and site visits in the Harper's Ferry, WV area.  We met with roughly 35 interested groups and individuals, including 18 leaders from the paddling community, and visited over 20 river access sites.  The meetings kicked off a collaborative effort to create and implement a river access Plan for the Harper's Ferry area, and were highly successful.  

Holtwood Whitewater Park to Open in 2015 (PA)

posted December 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 4

Anticipation was running high for the first public dam releases on the newly constructed Holtwood Whitewater Park this fall, however the final round of testing in early October revealed more work was needed before opening the park. Testing and modifications are ongoing, and we'll release a schedule of releases early next year.  The good news is that the waves are going to be incredible.

Gauley River (WV) Open Letter to Boaters 2014

posted August 15, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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Gauley season is just around the corner and in preparation for fall releases American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area informing boaters of planning efforts for this season.

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.

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!

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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Great Falls Race Great Falls,MD runs 07/04/15 - 07/04/15, next 07/04/15
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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
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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.