360 degrees of the Cheat River: A journey to revitalization on an Ohio River tributary

An interactive view of the Cheat River

How To: This 360-degree video is interactive. Click and drag your mouse, move your device or drag with your finger to explore the Cheat River views, both above and below the water's surface.


The Cheat River courses through one of the largest undammed watersheds in the eastern United States. The river forms from tributaries high in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia and flows northward to meet with the Monongahela River just before crossing into southwestern Pennsylvania. From there, the Mon joins the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River.

The Ohio River is a drinking water source for five million people, and 25 million people in Appalachia and the Midwest live within its watershed.

The Cheat River has a storied history. Not so long ago, the river ran orange for miles at a time from acid mine drainage, but revitalization efforts have brought the waters back to life, both literally and figuratively.

The once-dead river now supports an aquatic ecosystem that draws in anglers from around the region and world-class conditions that whitewater rafters, kayakers and squirt boaters enjoy.

This video was produced by Jeffrey Boggess, Ariel Cifala, Bijan Fandey, Shae McClain and Mark Schoenster, students in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, under the direction of David Smith, teaching assistant professor in the Reed College and multimedia producer for 100 Days in Appalachia. Smith can be reached at clifton.smith@mail.wvu.edu.

Joel Wolpert assisted in shooting the underwater footage.

Good River: Stories of the Ohio is a series about the environment, economy, and culture of the Ohio River watershed, produced by seven nonprofit newsrooms. To see more, please visit ohiowatershed.org.

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
Opening plenary at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Fort Collins, Colo., 2019. (Credit: Colorado State University)
Originals

30 years of being (almost always) right

It's an epic birth story that is, in all probability, also a true one.

Keep reading...
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY). (Credit: AFGE/flickr)
Originals

FDA under scrutiny: Policymakers, advocates push for stronger science, regulation of the chemical BPA

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) was pregnant with her second child when she became concerned about the toxic chemicals that she and her kids — and nearly all of us — encounter every day.

Keep reading...
Credit: Mark Lunt/flickr
Originals

Op-ed: Asbestos, ubiquitous and avoidable, is a deadly threat to our kids

In the United States, gun violence kills nearly 40,000 people a year and has killed nearly 40,000 or so children and teenagers since 1999, and yet the nation is still without serious gun control.

Keep reading...
Youth Climate Strike in Santa Rosa, Calif., in March 2019. (Credit: Fabrice Florin/flickr)
Originals

Together, we make mud

The noted philosopher Rodney Dangerfield described his fictional marriage in a way that provides insight into the widening gulf in U.S. environmental politics: "She's a water sign. I'm an Earth sign. Together, we make mud."

Keep reading...
Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim/flickr
Originals

The I-told-you-so heard ‘round the world

When I'm in the checkout line at the grocery, the tabloids invariably catch my eye for a split second.

Keep reading...
Associate Justice William O. Douglas.
Originals

Before Gore, Greta, and the Green New Deal: Part Two

Let's start with an inveterate American treehugger named William O. Douglas.

Keep reading...
From our Newsroom

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.