In July, 2019, Coal River Mountain Watch celebrated its 20th birthday.
The mission of Coal River Mountain Watch is to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area and to help rebuild sustainable communities. Small community groups come and go; just surviving and thriving for twenty years is an achievement.
Coal River Mountain Watch has done more in its 20 years than just survive. It has done all this, and more:
- Its previous executive director, the late Judy Bonds, won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003.
- It secured a safe new school for the kids of Marsh Fork Elementary.
- It led the way in revealing the health impacts of mountaintop removal and introduced the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency (ACHE) Act in the US House of Representatives every Congress since 2012.
- It provided safe water for a community whose wells were contaminated by coal waste.
- Its Tadpole Project has made a noticeable improvement in cleaning up the illegal dumps and accumulated trash along the Marsh Fork.
- It collected over 7,500 tires for recycling, keeping them out of the river and dumps.
- It provided tours and interviews to hundreds of students, journalists, and other visitors from around the world.
- It discovered and reported pollution by coal companies.
- It took part in several court cases and enforcement actions against outlaw coal companies and enabling agencies.
- It installed solar power and planted hemp at our office and community center, the Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation.
Congratulations on the first twenty years and good luck for the next twenty and beyond!