How Mountaintop Removal Affects Fish, Tourism Along the Clinch River, An Appalachian Opera and More

Jul 12, 2014

Research shows mountaintop removal mining does impact fish populations.

Southwestern Virginia is trying to boost its economy using culture and nature.

Appalachian food is the topic of a summit in Kentucky.

And a new play delves into the issue of sexual assault in the military.

Mountain top removal mining does have an effect on fish populations downstream. A  study just released by the U-S Geological Survey shows there are reasons for this. The co-authors are Doug Chambers, who’s a biologist and water quality specialist in Charleston and Than Hitt, a fish researcher at the Leetown Science Center in Jefferson County. They found fewer fish and fewer species below active mine sites as well as higher levels of selenium.

How are brook trout affected by climate change? Biologist Than Hitt works at the USGS Leetown Science Center in Jefferson County, West Virginia, where scientists explore everything from declining fish and mussel populations to the increasing presence of intersex fish in the nation’s waterways. Hitt has just started a new research project- trying to determine how climate change might affect the brook trout, which is native to Appalachia. West Virginia Public Radio's Cecelia Mason has more.

Priming the economy along the Clinch River in Virginia. These days so much of the country seems just like everywhere else, the same national chains, same urban sprawl.  And while there are still some authentic regions left, mostly, they're far from -well - everywhere. As WVTF's Robbie Harris tells us that may help folks in southwest Virginia learn from mistakes others made, and --chart their own course for economic development.

Appalachian food traditions. While the folks in southwest Virginia look for ways to tap into the nature to develop the economy….. A recent event in Hindman, Kentucky, set out to put the Appalachian region on the map as a unique location in American food traditions.  WMMT’s Sylvia Ryerson has this report on the inaugural gathering of the Appalachian Food Summit, titled – Seeds and Ancestors

Exploring veterans issues through theater. This year’s Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, offers a play that explores how veterans deal with war, PTSD and sexual assault. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller’s One Night is about two Iraq War veterans who are staying in a seedy hotel trying to make sense of life after the military.

An Appalachian opera. While theater-goers in Shepherdstown West Virginia have five contemporary plays to see….opera aficionado’s in Virginia have the opportunity to hear an opera with an Appalachian twist. Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville is presenting a performance of Susannah -- a story set in Appalachia.  Sandy Hausman from WVTF Public Radio tells why that tale is relevant today and how some cast members shared their love of the show.  

Discovering memories while reviving an old theater. In southern West Virginia- a non-profit organization is working to improve the community by renovating an old theatre. It’s part of the Princeton Renaissance in Mercer County. As West Virginia Public Radio's Jessica Lilly reports; gutting a theater built more than 100 years ago, uncovers interesting pieces of history.