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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.

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New Virginia River Access Fee Program Delayed Until 2022

02/11/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

The media is reporting that the new fee program affecting river access areas owned and managed by Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources river access areas has been delayed one year, from starting in July of 2021, to instead starting in July of 2022. The delay is to allow for additional input and reconsideration of how the program should be implemented, apparently specifically to reduce impacts on outfitters. A committee will review the new law and make recommendations on possible improvements. American Whitewater encourages Virginia paddlers to get involved through their state legislators, through club participation in the committee, and through any public comment opportunity.

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New Fee Program Comes to Some Virginia Access Areas

01/15/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Last year the Virginia Legislature passed a new law into effect that requires the public to pay a fee to use river access areas that are managed by the Department of Wildlife Resources. The new fees kicked in January 1, 2021, and the program is outlined in news articles as well as on the Department's website. If you do not have a fishing license, the fees are $23 for an annual pass or $4 per day for a day-pass. The legislation seems to have passed with little discussion or public outreach, and caught many paddlers off guard. American Whitewater conducted a mapping analysis of the effects of this new fee program, and found that it applies new fees to at least 67 public access areas located on whitewater runs. Paddlers are encouraged to let their state legislators know they feel about the newly legislated fee system. 

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Midnight Miracle at Kanawha Falls

11/09/2020 - by Charlie Walbridge

A Tennessee kayaker was rescued after spending 8 hours trapped behind the veil of Kanawha Falls, a 15 foot drop located below the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia. The victim was paddling alone; a fisherman spotted his loose kayak and notified authorities. Top expert kayakers from Fayetteville, WV teamed up with WV-DNR officers and first responders to locate and rescue the man. Read their remarkable first-person accounts in the American Whitewater Accident Database: https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/112642

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AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

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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Associated Projects

Clean Water Act

American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.

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Gauley River (WV)

For many years AW has worked on the protection of this river and advocated for public access.

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Lehigh River (PA)

AW has worked with local paddling clubs to improve the recreational value of dam releases on the Lehigh

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Upper Yough Access (MD)

AW collaboratively manages the put in for the Upper Youghiogheny River in Western Maryland.

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Upper Yough Releases (MD)

American Whitewater worked closely with local paddlers and other stakeholders to negotiate an improved flow regime on the Upper Yough.

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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.

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Upcoming Events

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September 2021

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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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Savage River Release
10:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard scheduled Savage whitewater release1000-600 cfs

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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 Luke,MD runs 09/09/07 - 09/25/21
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Summersville,WV runs 09/15/12 - 09/19/21
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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 - 07/17/21
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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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CANCELLED-Lehigh Riverfest 2020-CANCELLED Weatherly,PA runs 08/28/20 - 08/30/20
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