Support Cheat Lake Conservation Efforts
Cheat River Pollution 1990's
Cheat River Today
Cheat Canyon Pollution 1980's
Cheat Canyon Today
Mine Blowout 1995
Cheat Lake is fed from the north flowing Cheat River which forms in Parsons, West Virginia. The Cheat River is fed by the five forks of the Cheat (Blackwater River, Shavers, Dry, Glady, and Laurel Forks). Waters from the Cheat support life all along the 162 miles the water travels to the Monongahela River.
However, the water used to be known as highly polluted and almost killed off everything in it. Over the last 40 years the Cheat has faced significant pollution from mine runoff and blowouts. In 1994 & 1995 there were two massive mine blowouts that placed the Cheat River on the list of the top 10 most endangered rivers nationwide.
The widespread pollution led several locals to rally together to protect the waterway and Cheat Canyon. The organization the Friends of the Cheat in conjunction with the government launched a massive campaign to stop the pollution. Since then they have attacked many abandon mine sites and worked to mitigate polluted water.
The waters of the Cheat have made a massive transformation from where they were in the 1990's. Today the water quality has recovered and the watershed is teaming with life once again.
However, the mission of the Friends of the Cheat is not over. They are tasked with maintaining the existing projects and working on stopping ongoing mine pollution. If you enjoy using Cheat Lake you should be supporting the Friends of the Cheat. They are the ones that ensure we have clean water to enjoy.