Monongahela Water Sampling

Mountaineer Chapter TU members participated.
Taking a Snapshot of the Monongahela National Forest
On October 1, 2016 – 27 volunteer water quality monitors from across West Virginia and Virginia gathered in Elkins, WV for the 2nd Monongahela National Forest Watershed Snapshot Day

Teams of volunteers were assigned monitoring routes which dispersed them through out the National Forest to collect water quality data. Locations for monitoring were strategically chosen for access, ecological value, and their potential to be impacted by shale gas. Of particular concern is the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 550-mile long multi-state pipeline, if constructed as currently proposed, would include 27 stream crossings on different 26 streams within and adjacent to the northern Monongahela Forest.

What can we learn from the Snapshot Day data? We collected 102 samples on 51 streams during Snapshot Day. Right now, we are working with our lab partners, Penn State University and Eastern Mennonite University, to have the samples analyzed. Each sample will be tested for conductivity, pH, turbidity, Barium, Strontium and Methane. Barium, Strontium and Methane are found naturally in the environment, but coupled with shale gas development, or when found in elevated levels, they can be indicators of pollution. It’s important to understand if, and at what levels, these chemicals are found in streams in the National Forest prior to development. We’ll share a report on the Snapshot Day data once the analysis is finished.

We’d like to extend a BIG thank you to all the volunteers who made Snapshot Day possible. Thank you for your time and commitment!

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