Thursday, September 04, 2008

Watershed Groups

Huff Run Parties in the Park, Celebrating Good News from EPA
By Maureen Wise, Coordinator of Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership

The Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership (HRWRP), along with the Mineral City Village Council and other nonprofits in the region, worked together to hold the fourth annual Mineral City Party in the Park on August 17 at the Village Park.

The sunny weather encouraged great community turn-out, and participation in the activities that Huff Run organized for the day, which included: the Huff Run 5K and Fun Mile, Water H2Olympics, crafts, and a photo contest display.

Their community celebration highlights the great work that HRWRP has accomplished since its founding in 1996. HRWRP received confirmation of its positive impact upon the regional ecosystems earlier this summer, when the Ohio EPA conducted a fish study in the polluted stretch of Huff Run. The study confirmed that twelve species of fish, including less-than-common species, like the Golden Shiner and Pumpkin Seed Sunfish (pictured below), had returned to the waters.

These results stand in stark contrast to the results of similar tests conducted by the Ohio EPA in previous years. The first such EPA study, conducted at Huff Run in 1998, revealed that only one species of highly pollutant-resistant fish (Green Sunfish) could live in the contaminated stretch of Huff Run. Another study, completed in 2005, found only six diverse species in Huff Run.

These results have been great news for HRWRP, whose organizational goal is to return Huff Run to its original warm water habitat. Since its inception, the HRWRP has brought $5.7 million into the watershed, and completed ten acid mine drainage restoration projects.

Learn more about the Huff Run restoration efforts at the Huff Run website, or call the office at (330.859.1050).