#3 Gauley River, West Virginia
Threat: Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
The Gauley River is internationally famous for its whitewater, contributing approximately $16 million in annual revenue to West Virginia from commercial rafting.
The river also supports trout and bass, but is scarred by coal mining impacts and subjected to degradation from ongoing mining activity. The process of mountaintop removal mining flattens mountaintops, buries streams under debris, and pollutes water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and cooperating agencies must stop the permitting of mine activity that harms the clean water and natural areas that are essential to the health and heritage of Appalachian communities.