June 23 marked the one-year observation of the devastating flooding that impacted many parts of West Virginia.
West Virginia Rivers Coalition, a nonprofit organization focused on river conservation and restoration, is launching a crowd-sourced photo documentary project on one of the impacted rivers — the Elk River — to document lasting effects of the flood.
People interested in contributing to the project can go to WVRivers.org to download a free app to their phones called Water Reporter. The app allows users to upload photos to an online map, creating an inventory of potential cleanup projects. Anyone who spends time on or by the river is invited to contribute.
Although much of the Elk River is once again open for recreation, there are still dangerous spots containing debris like household appliances, tires, and home furnishings.
“Several affected communities still have a long way to go to fully recover. Seeing the river restored to its health and beauty is part of that healing process. This project is a way for people to help identify areas of the river itself that still need attention,” said Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Executive Director.
The photo documentary will be on display during West Virginia Rivers’ Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle. Scheduled for Labor Day, September 4, at Coonskin Park, the free event invites paddlers of all ages and skill levels to participate in a 3-mile float on the Elk River ending at Coonskin. Paddlers will be welcomed with a free picnic and family friendly Elk River festival once they are off the river.
The Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance’s SPLASH event series and benefits the West Virginia Headwaters Waterkeeper, a program of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. For information on the Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle and the Elk River photo documentary project, visit WVRivers.org.
For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, visit www.splashseries.org.