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.

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Upper Yough Access Guidelines and Fundraiser

Posted: 06/30/2020
by Charlie Walbridge

At Maryland's Upper Yough, one of the country's finest whitewater runs, American Whitewater has been maintaining the Sang Run Access for the past 20 years. With the 4th of July weekend coming up, a quick reminder that we are guests of the Town of Friendsville when we take out. In addition changing clothes discretely ad behaving respectfully, please observe social distancing during the pandemic. Garrett County has a low infection rate, and a mask when patronizing local businesses is the norm. We are also beginning our annual fundraiser to pay the expenses American Whitewater has at Sang Run. Out goal is $1,000, and we have already received $160. The Fee Box at Sang Run is still closed due to vandalism. We suggest $20 for the full season; $5 for one weekend. Please donate on line, or use the donation jar at the Wilderness Voyageurs shop at the takeout. Please go to https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Membership/donate/? and put "Upper Yough Access" in the comment box.

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Don Millard - AW Super Upper Yough Access Volunteer!

Posted: 06/25/2020
by Charlie and Sandy Walbridge

American Whitewater super-volunteer Don Millard has been taking care of the Sang Run and Friendsville Access Areas on Maryland's Upper Youghioghenny River for the past several years. This bulds on a 2003 agreement between American Whitewater and Maryland State Parks, which owns the property. This year he rebuilt the change house and porta-pot shelter, set AW's sign back up, filled in potholes, and mowed acres of grass. He not only did the work, he donated the materials and machine time! This work givezs AW strong ties to the community (the place is also a fishing access) and local park managers. Also, thanks to him, boaters are not faced with a $5 access fee at both ends! Please remember, the pandemic is still on. Be smart. If you use the porta-pot, wash your hands or use sanitizer!

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2020 New River Dries Releases Scheduled (WV)

Posted: 02/06/2020
by Kevin Colburn

Last week, American Whitewater took part in the annual scheduling meeting for the New River Dries releases. Each year these releases will follow the same pattern: a weekend in mid-March, and then 3.5 consecutive weekends starting with the last weekend in June. For 2020, this means the releases are on March 21 & 22, June 27 & 28, and July 4, 5, 11, 12, and 18. Inflows have to be in a very specific range for a release to occur or it will be rescheduled, so double check the gages and the power company website before heading to the river.

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AW Launches Adirondacks River Restoration Campaign

Posted: 08/26/2019
by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater is launching the Adirondacks River Restoration Campaign to restore and improve river flows for aquatic ecosystems and to improve recreation opportunities across the region. Over the next 10 years, more than 50 hydroelectric dams in New York are scheduled to get new 30 to 50-year federal licenses, creating a once in a generation opportunity to improve river conditions. In the Black River Basin alone, there are more than 20 hydropower dams on the Black, Beaver, and Moose rivers that will begin the relicensing process in the next year, and American Whitewater will need to participate with other partners in order to mitigate project impacts and achieve river restoration goals. Through these efforts, we will restore flows to dewatered river reaches, improve existing flows, enhance public access, and benefit communities throughout the region.


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AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

Posted: 09/21/2018
by Robert Nasdor

The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.

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Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

Posted: 12/06/2015
by Robert Nasdor

In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.

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Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

Posted: 06/02/2015
by Robert Nasdor

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

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September 2020

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American Whitewater Gauley Fest


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American Whitewater Gauley Fest


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American Whitewater Gauley Fest


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American Whitewater Gauley Fest


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Events
Lehigh River Release White Haven,PA runs 05/10/08 - 08/18/19
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Tohickon Creek Point Pleasant,PA runs 05/20/06 - 11/03/19
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Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/20/19
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Potomac, North Branch Release Luke,MD runs 08/26/06 - 05/20/18
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Upper Yough Release Friendsville,MD runs 04/15/05 - 10/13/17
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Savage River Release Savage River Dam,MD runs 09/09/07 - 09/28/19
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Summersville,WV runs 09/15/12 - 09/20/20, next 09/17/20
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Great Falls Race Great Falls,MD runs 07/04/15 - 07/04/15
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North Branch Potomac Luke,MD runs 04/15/17 - 05/26/19
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New River Dries Release (WV) Gauley Bridge,WV runs 03/23/19 - 07/18/20, next 07/11/20
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Stonycreek Releases 2019 Johnstown,PA runs 04/20/19 - 10/20/19
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Stonycreek Rendezvous Johnstown,PA runs 05/17/19 - 05/19/19
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Lehigh Riverfest 2020 Weatherly,PA runs 08/28/20 - 08/30/20, next 08/28/20
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  (iCal)  

Related Groups

Sultan Relicensing - Upper Yough Access (MD)

Sign up to join the Sultan River (WA) working group and stay informed on issues related to improving flows through hydropower relicensing.

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Sultan Relicensing - Upper Yough Releases (MD)

Sign up to join the Sultan River (WA) working group and stay informed on issues related to improving flows through hydropower relicensing.

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Associated Projects

Clean Water Act
American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.
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.