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.

Dates Scheduled for First New River Dries Releases (WV)

posted January 22, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

Last week, the first ever pulse flow releases were scheduled on the New River Dries, located near Gauley Bridge, WV. These releases were designed to support intermediate level whitewater paddling and to restore natural flow variability to a river reach that has been largely dewatered by the Hawks Nest Hydropower Project for generations. The releases are a requirement of the new 47-year federal dam license issued in late 2017. The releases will occur in March, June, July, and possibly August of this and future years. American Whitewater played a lead role in negotiating these releases.

AW Russell Fork Survey Results Shared (KY/VA)

posted January 14, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

Last fall a diverse range of agencies and organizations expressed interest in enhancing the dam releases on the Russell Fork River, located on the border of Kentucky and Virginia. American Whitewater worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. We are pleased to share the full results of the survey, which were appreciated by the river managers. 

Upper Yough Access Fundraiser a Big Success

posted January 7, 2019
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 4

Tonight American Whitewater presented the Town of Friendsville, Maryland with a $5000 check towards the extension of the Upper Yough Access Parking Area. This, combined with a $1000 donation from Keelhaulers Canoe Club, made a strong statement of how much paddlers value the river and the town! Under the leadership of Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle and long time paddler and Friendsville resident Jess Whittemore the town raised $7 in additional funding for every dollar paddlers donated - just like they did on the initial construction! This makes these gifts a great value for the whitewater community. A big shout out and thank you to ALL who donated!

AW Presents Lower Yough Survey Results To Managers (PA)

posted December 19, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

Earlier this month American Whitewater conducted an online survey of the paddling community regarding the management of the Lower Youghiogheny River in Western Pennsylvania. The Lower Yough is a classic whitewater river with a long season, summer dam releases, and wonderful scenery protected by Ohiopyle State Park. American Whitewater has provided the full survey results to State Park river managers to help inform their decisions. Nearly 600 paddlers completed the survey. 

Take Russell Fork Survey on Additional Releases (VA/KY)

posted October 24, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

This year, the Army Corps of Engineers has added Russell Fork releases on the first two weekends of November as a pilot program, in addition to the standard four October weekends. Additional changes to the release program are under consideration. American Whitewater has worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. Click through to take the survey. 

AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

posted September 21, 2018
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 2

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.

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
article photo 3

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:

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

posted December 6, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 2

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. 


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Upcoming Events

Lehigh River Release Sunday the 28th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Saturday the 27th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Sunday the 21st 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
New River Dries Release (WV) Saturday the 20th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the next weekend on which there is not a release planned. 2500-2200 cfs
Lehigh River Release 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
New River Dries Release (WV) Sunday the 14th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the next weekend on which there is not a release planned. 2500-2200 cfs
Saturday the 13th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.
Sunday the 7th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.
Savage River Release 11:04 AM to 11:04 AM EST
Lehigh River Release 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Saturday the 6th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
New River Dries Release (WV) 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.
Sunday the 30th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.
Saturday the 29th 09:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST 2200 - 2500 cfs These releases will occur if inflows are between 3,800 and 12,500. If flows are too high or too low they will be rescheduled for the following weekend.
Lehigh River Release Sunday the 23rd 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Saturday the 22nd 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Sunday the 9th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Saturday the 8th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Savage River Release Saturday the 1st 11:04 AM to 11:04 AM EST
North Branch Potomac Sunday the 26th 11:07 AM to 11:07 AM EST
Lehigh River Release 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
North Branch Potomac Saturday the 25th 11:07 AM to 11:07 AM EST
Lehigh River Release 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
Saturday the 18th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
North Branch Potomac Sunday the 12th 11:07 AM to 11:07 AM EST
Lehigh River Release Saturday the 11th 07:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST 650 - 850 cfs Scheduled Whitewater Releases
North Branch Potomac 11:07 AM to 11:07 AM EST
  (iCal)  

Related Groups

Volunteer Opportunities / Activities

projects - Upper Yough Access (MD)

projects - Upper Yough Releases (MD)


Associated News

Savage River Release
June 28, 2007

9th Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival & Tim Gavin Downriver race
April 19, 2007

07 Gauley River Festival presented by Subaru Wrapup
September 25, 2007

Savage Release Sept 9th!
September 4, 2007

Upper Yough Race / Festival
July 16, 2007

2011 Ohiopyle (PA) Over the Falls Festival August 20
August 10, 2011

Gauley River (WV) Information for 2013
August 25, 2013

Connecticut River Flow Studies Planned for Summer
June 4, 2014

CT River Update: AW Responds to Flow Study, License Application (MA/VT/NH)
May 2, 2016

AW, FERC Call for Mongaup (NY) Boating Study
August 7, 2017


Associated Projects

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