Make a Year End Contribution to Ensure a Successful 2018

As 2017 comes to a close we are reflecting on an incredibly successful year for our organization and our river community. This success would not have been possible without your generous support. We are grateful for your energy, your creativity and your wisdom. Your past investments have made the following possible:

  • We secured Exceptional Value status, reserved for Pennsylvania’s cleanest streams, for Stony Run in the Indian Creek watershed as a result of a petition we submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection. This designation will result in more safeguards for this beautiful and important stream while also protecting downstream uses.                                                                                                                                       
  • We successfully protected the Youghiogheny River gorge from the proposed Curry Mine. Our nearly 10-year legal battle ended in April when the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas granted our land use appeal and voided the special exception for the proposed mine. This decision protects water quality, downstream drinking water intakes, and the thousands of people who recreate in Ohiopyle State Park and surrounding areas.                                                                                                                                                           
  • Our 2017 Swimmable Waters program was a huge success. We sampled for E. coli weekly at popular swimming locations around the watershed so citizens know where it is safe to splash, swim or paddle. Sample results are available on our website, at, and through text alerts. We also promoted the project through photos submitted by members. To participate next year, tag your photos with #youghswimmablewaters!                                                                                                                                                               
  • We partnered with local citizen’s group Protect Elizabeth Township to oppose the issuance of variances for a gas-fired power plant along the Yough in Allegheny County. We have successfully intervened in the proceedings.                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • We secured $123,543 in Growing Greener funds to install a treatment system on the Rondell-Correal mine drainage discharge. This discharge, long considered one of the most challenging discharges to treat in the entire state, is also the most degraded in the Indian Creek watershed. The treatment system should remove 90% of the aluminum and 99% of the iron currently discharged.                                                                                        
  • Our policy work included issues such as public lands management, fisheries management, reclamation of abandoned mine lands and public participation and has led to significant advances in each of these areas. We provide an important regional perspective on relevant national issues.                                                                    
  • We are dedicated to protecting the Donegal and Saltlick areas from the threat of the proposed Rustic Ridge #1 deep mine.  Our experts have found hundreds of deficiencies in the company’s application which are now being addressed through the permitting process.  We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community and our watershed and are committed to protecting our area from this threat.                                     
  • We have raised $160,000 in grant funds to finish the section of the Indian Creek Valley Trail in the spectacular Indian Creek Gorge.  Our newly formed and community-driven Trail Council is dedicated to trail expansion and maintenance.                                                                                                                                                      
  • We purchased the office building that has housed MWA activities for the past ten years.  The plan is to walk the talk by turning the building into a green space using renewable energy and native wildflower gardens.

For more information and stories of our 2017 successes, please see our 2017 Annual Report.

Your donation to the Mountain Watershed Association is one of the most powerful means for you to support the protection, preservation and restoration of the Indian Creek and greater Youghiogheny River watersheds.  Please invest in the future of your watershed community with a year-end tax-deductible donation today.  Thank you.



Beverly Braverman, Executive Director

Jerry Gearhart, Co-President, Board of Directors

Jeri Lowe, Interim President, Board of Directors