River of Promise


 Outline of a Shared Commitment

The River of Promise is a coalition of state and federal agencies, academia, industry, and environmental groups working to bring resources, technology, and expertise  together to address acid mine drainage and other pollution problems in the Cheat River Watershed.

Friends of the Cheat formed in the spring of 1994 in response to a significant AMD blowout from an underground coal mine that had been illegally sealed.  The founders recognized immediately that the scope of the AMD problem in the watershed extended far beyond this single catastrophe, and that all available resources would need to be coordinated to have a serious impact.  Local industry, state and federal agencies, and other citizen groups were solicited for assistance. This effort led to the formation of the River of Promise (ROP) task force.

Over 20 groups have signed onto the “River of Promise: A Shared Commitment for the Restoration of the Cheat River, West Virginia.”   This began in May 1995, with initial signatories Friends of the Cheat, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Anker Energy, West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and the Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining.  Subsequent 1996 signatories included more state and federal agencies, academia, conservation groups, local government.  Meeting quarterly and chaired by Friends of the Cheat, the River of Promise task force coordinates and initiates remediation projects throughout the watershed.

Millions of dollars in projects have been implemented since the inception of the River of Promise, including water monitoring programs, water quality assessments, and reclamation projects.

River of Promise Purpose and Goals:

Advantages of the River of Promise approach:

 The partners in the River of Promise truly do “share a commitment”.  This approach has accomplished much and will continue to restore the natural qualities of the Cheat Watershed for the benefit of all users and inhabitants.

 River of Promise Signatories          

Allegheny Energy
Anker Energy
Canaan Valley Institute
Cheat Lake Environment and Recreation Association
Downstream Alliance
Friends of the Cheat
National Biological Survey
National Mine Lands Reclamation Center
Preston County Commission
Trout Unlimited, WV State Council
West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
West Virginia University: College of Agriculture and Forestry
United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
United States Department of Energy
Federal Energy Technology Center
United States Department of the Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance
Office of Surface Mining
United States Geological Survey
United States Environmental Protection Agency Region III