Friends of the Cheat’s mission is to restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding natural qualities of the Cheat River watershed.




Since 1995, FOC and its partners have implemented 17 acid mine drainage treatment systems on abandoned mine lands in the lower Cheat River watershed.

The Cheat River main stem has been removed from the state’s list of impaired waters for mining-related impacts.  Big Sandy Creek and Sovern Run are also on the verge of removal from this list.

FOC works with community stakeholders and technical experts to understand and revitalize brownfields in the lower Cheat River watershed to spur economic growth, protect public health, and promote environmentally-friendly redevelopment.



Friends of the Cheat supports the preservation of the Cheat River Canyon and encourages land use that protects sensitive wildlife habitat.  The Cheat Mountain salamander, three-toothed flat spired land snail, Indiana bat, and West Virginia northern flying squirrel are endangered and protected species within the watershed.  FOC works with organizational and agency partners to advance the purchase of this wilderness area for conservation and recreation.

The Preston Rail-Trail Committee has been actively working to preserve and convert rail corridors in the county to non-motorized rail-trails since 2002.

FOC seeks agreements that guarantee recreational access to both hikers and boaters by maintaining four public river access points, including locations at the FOC festival site in Albright–the put-in for the Cheat Canyon–Jenkinsburg, Rockville, and FOC’s Preston Site on Route 72 along the Cheat River Narrows.



Since 1995, Friends of the Cheat has hosted the Cheat River Festival to raise awareness and funds in support of the organization’s mission.

FOC maintains a website and distributes a triennial newsletter highlighting the Cheat River, FOC projects, and upcoming events.

FOC leads and supports local and regional education and outreach activities in addition to sharing FOC’s work at regional and national events and conferences.

FOC sells graphic T-shirts, hats, stickers, and other merchandise to promote the FOC mission.  Two videos describing problems associated with acid mine drainage and efforts to remediate them are available for private or public viewing.