Guardians of the West Fork

Guardians of the West Fork Watershed is a volunteer 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the ecological integrity of the West Fork River, its tributaries, and its watershed.  It will monitor and assist agencies in monitoring biological, physical, chemical, and cultural characteristics of the watershed to identify sources of degradation and suggest their elimination.  It will publicize the status of the watershed and encourage education and recreational enjoyment of the watershed.  It will seek wide membership and outside funding to support its activities.

This organization primarily examines watershed health in Marion, Harrison, and Lewis counties in north central West Virginia.  Members work with local, state, and federal organizations to design and implement passive treatment systems to remediate local waters from more than a decade of exposure to acid mine drainage from coal mining operations. 

The central goals of this organization are to
1. Improve ecosystem health in the West Fork River watershed and
2. Secure potable water resources for human uses.

Current and historic sources of degradation in the watershed include
  • Exposure to acid mine drainage from surface and deep coal mining operations,
  • Industrial waste,
  • Agricultural pollution,
  • Sewage wastewater, and
  • Littering/improper waste disposal.

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