Yough Riverkeeper

About the Youghiogheny Riverkeeper

The Youghiogheny Riverkeeper is a program of the Mountain Watershed Association and has expanded MWA’s vision into the larger Youghiogheny River basin. The Yough Riverkeeper is the public advocate for the Youghiogheny River watershed.  We use grassroots efforts to defend against further pollution, to improve water quality and to conserve the natural ecology and character of the region.

Protecting the Youghiogheny River and its tributaries is critical to improving the environment and economy of our region.  We believe the Yough should remain a ‘living river’ with safe water for drinking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and habitat.

Our Riverkeeper program is part of a larger organization, Waterkeeper Alliance, which is dedicated to providing a voice for waterways across the world.


What We Do


We are currently in the midst of a comprehensive monitoring plan in the Yough basin, spanning from Oakland, Maryland to the mouth in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. This initiative compliments the Indian Creek monitoring we are already conducting as well as the continuous monitoring which is occurring with instream data loggers throughout the Yough basin.  We are also conducting E. coli sampling throughout the watershed at popular swimming locations as part of our Swimmable Waters initiative, and we are conducting targeting sampling on Meadow Run in an attempt to identify the source of E. coli pollution in that stream.  Some of these data are available on The Swim Guide.

We review and comment on permits for activities including mining and gas well drilling in the watershed. We use grassroots advocacy tools to draw attention to water quality and quantity threats. We pursue stream redesignation petitions and unsuitable for mining petitions to seek more protection for our highest quality streams. We network with other groups and organize watershed stakeholders to assist us in these efforts.


Support our Yough Work

If you would like to support the Yough Riverkeeper program please consider making a donation to our Yough Defense Fund. Donations are used to fund our legal work, water monitoring, and other initiatives in the Youghiogheny River watershed.

Your contribution to our Yough Defense Fund will be earmarked to support our Youghiogheny Riverkeeper program and our work in the Youghiogheny River watershed.

Also, please consider joining the Mountain Watershed Association as a member.  Every membership increases our ability to protect, conserve and restore water quality across the Laurel Highlands region.

Riverkeeper is a registered trademark and service mark of Riverkeeper, Inc. and is licensed for use herein.