Formed in 1994, Friends of the Cheat is a grassroots non-profit watershed group working to restore a river damaged by a legacy of irresponsible land use practices, preserve the health and integrity of the watershed against future degradation, and promote the watershed as a haven for beauty and recreation.
The Mapping and Monitoring Program was developed by Friends of the Cheat staff in 2003 to identify and prioritize acid mine drainage (AMD) sources in the lower Cheat River watershed. Since 2003, over 5,000 samples have been collected at over 600 sampling locations during reconnaissance and routine monitoring.
In 2011, Friends of the Cheat launched a volunteer monitoring program, the Cheat Aquatic Pollution And BaseLine Ecological (CAPABLE) Monitoring Program, to collect baseline stream data in tributaries threatened by natural gas drilling and other sources of impairment.
New for 2017, Friends of the Cheat is beginning a new bacteriological monitoring program to test several Cheat River access locations for total coliform and E. coli. Monitoring these sites will help inform the public determine where to swim and paddle to limit their risk of getting sick from bacteria in the water.