Water and recreation go together like West Virginians and Mountaineer football.
Whether it’s fishing, rafting/kayaking or another aquatic hobby, chances are it has something to do with water. Deckers Creek in Monongalia County, which runs through Morgantown, has great possibilities for recreational activities. However, Deckers Creek has had environmental issues in the past, as have many other small streams, although Deckers is recuperating with help.
Friends of Deckers Creek, through their reclamation efforts, have helped the waterway become more suitable for aquatic life and human recreation. Friends of Deckers Creek has been the guiding light that is restoring the creek back to the way it was before human interference.
From its inception in 1999, Friends of Deckers Creek has held cleanups, monitored water quality, surveyed aquatic life and educated Morgantown communities and many others on related issues. However, we need to ask ourselves some questions.
Why was the creek polluted in the first place? Why were there illegal dump sites?
These are hard questions to ask when there is no clear answer on what possesses a person to do these things. Things such as acid mine drainage are not acceptable, but it’s unfortunately understandable. We didn’t know how harmful mine drainage was in the past, but we now know, and we know what we can do to fix that problem or prevent it.
So, ask yourself, why do people decide to leave trash along the bank? Why do people dump household trash and waste on the side of the road and in the woods? What people don’t realize is that they could be affecting hundreds or even thousands of people that rely on water.
For example, Deckers Creek flows to the Monongahela River, then to the Ohio River, on to the Mississippi, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
Cleanup of our tributaries adds up to cleaner waterways on a major scale which leads to a better quality of life for everyone. The creeks and streams interconnect to create the world and oceans. If we neglect our responsibility to our land, we may not find land worth caring for or a planet worth caring for very soon.