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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.

Upper Yough Season Begins!

posted May 2, 2018
by Charlie Walbridge
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May 5th is Cheatfest Weekend; it's also the first Saturday Upper Yough release of 2018. If water levels coopperate hundreds of white water paddlers will converge on this fabulous class IV-V run and the small town of Friendsville, MD.  American Whitewater maintains access points at Sang Run and Friendsville to make getting on the water easy. We remind everyone that we are guests in this beautiful town. Please be courteous when using the parking area. Don't drink alcohol in public, change clothes, or relieve yourself where others can see you. Use the change house and the porta john! If you witness disrespectful behavior, please tell the offender to stop it immediately! Stay on the gravel in the parking lot as much as you can; the perimeter can be torn up after rainstorms. Don't park in residential areas along the river. And contribute to our access work by leaving a few bucks at the Sang Run collection box to pay for the porta-potty and grass cutting. Have a great run and take time to patronize the businesses in town who are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

posted March 30, 2018
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 3

This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:

Senator Stewart Greenleaf, Friend of Whitewater, Prepares to Retire

posted January 23, 2018
by Charlie Walbridge
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Senator Stewart Greenleaf, a Pennsylvania State legislator known for his practical, problem solving approach to solving the State’s problems, has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Mr. Greenleaf, 78, was first elected to the Pennsylvania House in 1976 and has served in the Senate since 1978. He is a long time member of the Philadelphia Canoe Club and his work was directly responsible for fall and spring white water releases on Tohickon Creek (1977) and summer releases on the Lehigh River (1999). For a behind the scenes story of this and other work on behalf of paddlers and more information on his long career, please follow this link:

2018 Advanced Southeast Release Schedule Set!

posted January 7, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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It is looking like another great year to be a paddler in the Southeast! Over the past two decades American Whitewater has worked with affiliate clubs and partners to negotiate an awesome array of scheduled releases on river reaches previously dewatered by hydropower dams. Each year we are part of a process to schedule these releases in an integrated manner that aims to maximize their recreational value. Check out the outstanding line up for 2018. 

Decision Reached on Restoration of the New River Dries! (WV)

posted January 5, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

River enthusiasts will soon have new paddling opportunities on West Virginia's New River. Federal regulators issued a new 47-year license for the dam that dewaters the spectacular 5.5-mile New River Dries in the final days of 2017. The license requires significant new recreational and environmental enhancements in a river reach that has suffered from water withdrawals for well over half a century. American Whitewater played an active and leading role in securing these outcomes.

AW, FERC Call for Mongaup (NY) Boating Study

posted August 7, 2017
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater, along with Kayak and Canoe Club of New York and Appalachian Mountain Club, have joined with FERC in calling on Eagle Creek Renewable, owner and operator of three hydropower projects on the Mongaup River in New York, to conduct a whitewater boating study on section below the Rio Dam. The Mongaup is a scenic Class II/III river within easy reach of New York City and southern New England. Both whitewater groups and FERC are seeking to determine whether releasing flows into the natural river channel below the Rio Dam would provide new recreational boating opportunity at the Rio Project. The study will determine whether the whitewater boating run can be extended upstream to the Rio Dam. In addition, AW and its partners will be seeking additional whitewater boating release days through the relicensing process.

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

posted December 6, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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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.

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

posted June 2, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 2

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

June 2018

Savage River Release
09:20 am -09:20 am est


Lehigh River Release White Haven,PA runs 05/10/08 - 10/08/17
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Tohickon Creek Point Pleasant,PA runs 05/20/06 - 03/18/12
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Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/18/15
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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 - 09/29/18, next 06/02/18
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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 09/15/12 - 09/17/16
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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 - 05/28/17
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Stonycreek River Release Johnstown,PA runs 04/08/17 - 10/22/17
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Related Groups

Volunteer Opportunities / Activities

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.