The Mapping and Monitoring Program was developed by Friends of the Cheat staff in 2003 to identify and prioritize acid mine drainage (AMD) sources in the lower Cheat River watershed. As the backbone of FOC, the program has established monitoring sites and maintained a comprehensive database of AMD sources and impacted tributaries. Since 2003, over 4,500 samples have been collected at over 1,000 sampling sites during reconnaissance and routine monitoring. All sampling is completed according to FOC’s Quality Assurance Project Plan approved by US EPA Region 3.
FOC spends a considerable amount of time in the field, and we always welcome volunteers who are interested in learning more about what we do and want to help restore the Cheat River.
The Mapping and Monitoring Program also tracks the performance of AMD treatment projects by collecting pre- and post-construction samples. In 2011, FOC launched a new volunteer monitoring program, the Cheat Aquatic Pollution And BaseLine Ecological (CAPABLE) Monitoring Program, to collect baseline stream data in tributaries threatened by unconventional natural gas drilling (hydraulic fracturing) and other sources of impairment.