The Monongahela River flows gracefully through the hills of the Allegheny Plateau in southwestern Pennsylvania and northcentral West Virginia for 129 miles from the confluence of the West Fork and Tygart Valley Rivers in Fairmont, West Virginia to meet with the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.
The years of coal mines and steel mills took their toll on the river; however, the Mon has achieved improvements in water quality in recent decades, as evidenced in its increased recreational use. With an extensive lock and dam system still in use, this river is an example of both industrial and recreational purposes coexisting side by side.
The Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation (BARC) is working to revitalize this former coal mining community by connecting the people to the river. With the help of a coalition of partners, BARC is spearheading the design and implementation of the Mid Mon River water trail map to promote recreational use of the Mid Mon River, and fill the gap between the existing Three Rivers and Upper Mon maps.
If selected for River of the Year, BARC will work with the River Town Program to host walking/paddling tours of the towns along the river to share the local stories of the growth, decline, and lasting environmental impacts of the industrial era on the river. BARC will work to extend a new welcome and way finding sign program to better promote the river. Existing river-related events that occur in the six communities participating in the Mon River Town Program will be coordinated to celebrate the River of the Year.