Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program Honored for Work in PA

(Photo provided by Rachel Kester)

ARLINGTON, VA – Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program was recently honored with one of the American Fisheries Society’s highest awards, the President’s Fishery Conservation Award.

The award is given annually to an individual or organization for singular accomplishments or long-term contributions that advance aquatic resource conservation at a regional or local level. Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program was chosen for successfully advancing the restoration of trout streams at a watershed level of resolution. Trout Unlimited began its work in 1998 on abandoned coal mine cleanup in the Kettle Creek watershed in northcentral Pennsylvania. Since then it has completed nearly a dozen projects targeting abandoned mine drainage in the Kettle Creek watershed and provided technical assistance on more than 65 abandoned mine cleanup projects for other groups across Pennsylvania.

Amy Wolfe, EAMP Director, Rebecca Dunlap, EAMP Manager and Dr. Shawn Rummel, EAMP Field and Research Coordinator, accepted the award, which was presented on Sept. 6 at the AFS annual convention in Seattle. AFS, founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest professional society representing fisheries scientists.

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor,” said Wolfe.  “Our close collaboration with many AFS members, government agencies and other grassroots organizations has helped us to advance restoration of streams polluted by abandoned mine drainage throughout the West Branch Susquehanna watershed and beyond. This is certainly a team effort.”

Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program is focused on the conservation, protection, and restoration of coldwater fisheries and their watersheds throughout the Appalachian region that have been impacted by historic coal mining. A main focus for Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program is the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Initiative, which was launched in 2004 as a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at the restoration of coldwater streams and the ultimate recovery of the West Branch Susquehanna River.

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.

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