- The Forest Service, in addition to other partners, have invested approximately $10 million in creek cleanup.
- A restoration group worked to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s rating of the stream as “unrecoverable.”
- Residents have conducted stream sampling, trash cleanups, and the painting of murals depicting coal mining and restoration work.
- Cleanup efforts improved water quality and sustainability, and increased community pride.
Federal Agency LandownerUS Forest Service
The Monday Creek Watershed is located in the Appalachian coal belt in southeast Ohio. In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated it an unrecoverable stream: large portions of Monday Creek and its tributaries were dead due to acid mine drainage from a century of coal mining. In 1994, local residents formed the Monday Creek Restoration Project (MCRP) group, which sought to restore the 27 miles of mainstem Monday Creek.
While initially concerned with correcting flooding issues, the group focus has since expanded—it now coordinates the efforts of more than 20 partners, including grassroots organizations, universities, state offices, EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service, which manages the 38 percent of the watershed that is federally owned. The MCRP also performs vital water quality monitoring throughout the 116-square mile watershed. This collaboration has been critical as each partner provides unique technical expertise and resources.
At last report, partners had invested approximately $5 million toward creek cleanup, and the Forest Service has invested a similar amount, generally on projects in the Monday Creek tributaries. Since reclamation work began, community pride in the project has grown. Residents have been involved in activities such as conducting stream sampling, trash cleanups, and the painting of murals depicting coal mining and restoration work. The hard work of all partners has begun to pay off—EPA reversed the creek’s unrecoverable rating in 2004, the creek’s water quality has improved substantially, and people are using the area for recreation. With additional cleanup, the stream could someday be used as a warm water fishery to support recreational fishing.