7/18/2007 12:47:41 PM ET
Please stand by for real-time relay captioning.good day, welcome to this afternoon's webcast sponsored by the U.S. environmental protection agency -- and OWOW. The title of today we web Taft is acid mine drainage, combining science and art. I am at Oak Ridge institute, Environmental Protection Agency office of wetlands and will be your moderator today. We will get underway shortly; but as we wait for others to join. The seminar is filled to capacity. Materials have been reviewed by ep a staff for accuracy. The speaker's views are his own, don't necessarily reflect those of the Emma, whether a product or publication is mentioned it does not moon Environmental Protection Agency encoreses them. You were directed to this seminar's web address, with a short abstract of today's session.
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A project called -- the winner for community involved combined art and science to make a difference in coal country. Dr. T. Allen comp, founder of the now completed project will discuss how he mobilized the community, scientists, and artist to serve as recreational sites, art parks, educational centers and historical sites. Thanks to funding and expertise from many stakeholders, the Pennsylvania Department of national endowment for arts, surface mining, Environmental Protection Agency and others, economic and degradation due to AMD has been rem remediated. Using the webcast you will learn valuable lessons from a true leader in community based watershed protection.
Today's speaker is t Allen comp, director of the appalachian coal country -- received national awards for work with the people of the ap latch coal country, environmental recovery, remarkable cor I don't go raffy of multiple federal agencies working with rural mining communities.
Great arts innovator says, AMD and art project won the Phoenix award among other award and has two EP a bronze medals. Deep commitment to resources, environmental reclamation, find ing ways for vista volunteers and -- he's currently the director of appalachian coal country watershed team bringing full time Vista staff positions to 50 watershed groups, to the most challenged. He's director of new western watershed team just starting in Colorado.
So now that I have introduced our speaker let's get started. Alan, take it away.
Thank you Meeghan, and particularly for helping me translate what was an old slide show into a new PowerPoint presentation we are about to see. I appreciate Megan's help and all the staff at OWOW.
Thank you very much. I want to tell the story of a project and its spin-off. There are themes within the project I should probably reveal just to make sure we all know where I am trying to go. One is that the whole transformation of environmental liabilities into community assets is something I find engaging, something we tried to do in this project. Second is for me, partnerships, engagement that comes with building the partnerships is a wonderful way to expand, to create much larger boundaries around projects and around advocates for the projects. You will hear a lot about that in this presentation as well.
Finally, a learned commitment, if you will, is that good science is necessary, but it isn't sufficient. We really need the benefits of the dimensions that the art and humanities can bring to environmental reclamation. With that, as a preface let's move to slide two.
This is the appalachian coal country, from North eastern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, all of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, down into central Alabama. It's the region that the OSM Vista team serves, and the area we were addressing. In slide three, we will get this right, a region of amazing and remarkable resources, particularly its water resources. You can think of this region as the eastern mountain spine that runs down the eastern half of this country. It is a vast ecosystem, and one of great diversity. Some . Some are remarkably diverse for flora and fauna. It's a place where coal, iron, men, money, came together to create what we call a modern industrial economy, beginning early in the 19th century. That coal energy base remained the largest single contributor to America's energy throughout the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Today, even now, more than half our energy comes from coal. This is a place with vital economic contributions to make to this nation.
In slide five, a place of very proud places. This is Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but there are cities like this, built by coal, iron, people, spread across all the Appalachian coal country, important places in American history. In slide six, lots of small place, coal towns, patch towns, that are equally proud communities, surviving still long after coal as a major economic driver disappeared.
In these places I think it's important to remind ourselves that the people who live in these places really practice what we preach a lot in American values, sense of home, place, importance of place, extended family to the life of a community. I am a native Californiaian, I found this kind of commitment to place and home truly fascinating. A part of the culture you have to understand to be able to work there.
In slide seven there's another story to coal country as well, happened largely after World War II, after we rebuilt Europe, our own energy stocks, mechanization, globalization, continuing demand for coal, but not needing people to mip it mine it much anymore. The severe economic decline really created a deeply conflicted sense of history. There's pride in the past, almost shame in the present, or confusion about the present, where it's going to go next.
In slide eight, the landscape of coal country is littered with these reminders. It's an inescapable presence in the landscape to see what was, and what is no longer. Even in slide nine, the water in coal country reflects this stained legacy. This is acid mine drainage, what some people, scientists would call unstable acqueeous -- AMD is constant. More present in the northern coal fields than the southern, but orange streams are ubiquitous.
In slide 10, I get concerned about the fact that, lost in the recent history, the confusion, conflict around the history, deeper community commitment to hard work, community, nation-building that is a part of coal country's real pride.
Slide 11, if you take it altogether, the landscape, historic legacy, the overwhelming nature of coal country can really leave you bewildered about what any individual might do to try to combat or improve in that effort to recover.
I would submit in slide 12 that we're not the only creatures on the planet bewildered by that legacy, and hope that there are ways out of that. In slide 13, fortunately there are some things that have been developed with acid mine drainage, approaches to acid mine drainage. This is a wetland created by a mine discharged that happened to flow out and created a wetland. Scientists discovered the water coming out of these was better in quality than the water going in. To look at then what was going on in those wetlands that was actually creating those improvements in water quality. Then to look at how could we enhance those natural processes in creating a passive treatment system that would work in dealing with these many, literally, thousands of discharges across coal country.
In slide 14 you will see a passive treatment system. These systems are being built as watershed groups and others get the monitoring done, find the funding, often from my own office, office of surface mining, and these systems work. A series of rec tang lar ponds, water goes in bad, comes out good. The job is done. But for me as a historian, as a public servant as well, it seems like there's also a lost opportunity here. There's 3 or four 100,000 dollars of -- the opportunity to understand, maybe to support the efforts, it seemed like we might get a let more done in building passive treatment systems, engaging all of the problems of coal country. The challenge of transforming AMD treatment to constituent advocacy, to voters that want to make a difference, I took as a challenge 15 years ago, different kinds of inspiration, slide 15, I looked -- he's carved these big limestone disks, acid rain coming off the Pacific ocean. Buffer isn't a dum by, he understands the tablets won't buff every the streamg, but he had every local television disaigz watching the performance, put integrity on the news. The result is a lot more interest in the problem, public engagement in the problem.
Slide 16, another guy I found very inspiring, Mel Chin, the revival fields project, able to plant a formal garden on a super fund site. I suspect that when Mel went to Environmental Protection Agency to ask for a gardzen, they said he's an artist, what can he hurt. They let him. He engaged a lot of serious scientists to select plant who would hopefully draw toxins out of the soil, help remediate the site. The beginning of a whole field called phyto remediation. Using plants in a way artful, another source of inspiration I found really useful.
Finally, slide 17, Peter Richard and and Michael Open himmer, George har graves, very well-known landscape architect did this seat in San Francisco Bay, old site capped, had to meet the rules, can't irrigate, penetrate the , can't do anything. On the other hand, they were challenged to create the area, transform the area into something that was an appealing recreational opportunity.
What they did in several places around the area, among my favorites, you couldn't plant a forest, but you could plant the idea of a forest, begin to let people's imagination take it from there. It worked very well. That is pricking people's imagination, encouraging people's imaginations, another thing I find very engaging.
With that, on slide 18, I really wanted to look back at acid mine drainage and think beautiful weather what would happen if we redefined acid mine drainage, recon Septemberualizeed it, not as a science and water problem, but as a culture problem. What if we looked much more broadly in terms of this legacy on a whole landscape, then started approaching building something to do about that from there. Could we explanned the engagement, find new sources of funding if we re-thought our narrow approach to fixing the water. That's what created what came to be the AMD and art project. I will confess I called it The Art Thing for two years while I poked around at an idea.
We began to realize environmental problems really create a point of engagement, an entry point, if you will, for public engraijment. But if you bring in new perspectives, beyond science, not in addition to, but beyond, you open the opportunity for new partnerships, new funding. For me personally, I have to admit, I had the gift of 12 years of exploring an idea. Almost always as a volunteer, nevertheless, as director of non-profit called AMD and Art, we explored the idea. On slide 20, in Vinton Dale, Pennsylvania.
In western Pennsylvania, Vintondale is a small down, less than 6000 people live there. For every dollar easterned, the average resident easterns 52-cents. The percentage 6 families living under poverty is well over -- you will find that is typical of coal camps or patch towns all over the country, thousands of communities that struggle to survive a midst the environmental legacy of an unregulated coal industry that existed in this country up until 1977.
One important feature of this site is that thin gray line at the bottom of the hill on the right, a rail trail, the ghost town trail. It attracted at the time we started to build this, an audience, user group of 70 or 80,000 people. That grave us an audience gave us an audience for this site.
We worked whenever we could, slide 21, however we could, often in the rain. We met with everyone we could find that would talk to us, as we kept exploring the idea, even in this slide, hydro geologist, about whom I will say more, trail advocate, power company executive. A landscape designer, historian manager, me over on the left. Trying to sort of begin to poke Arnold with this idea, working in water proof pencils on water proof paper.
Slide 22, we spent, thanks to Vista, A mer i Corps, I was able to get one person mm a year before we held community meetings. We easterned our trust, the ways to get to places to then work request the community, rather than bring in a team of -- say this is what you off the ought to do, the challenge was to work for the community, to give form to the community aspirations.
We did hold two big design meetings, had more than 10% of the entire population of the town in the meetings, and we came out with multiple perspectives owe this site. What the old miners thought, young kids thought, everybody in between. We built all of those know what you see on slide 23, which is our first concept plan, actually generated by me, a landscape architect intern, many years ago. It's actually close to what we actually built, as well. It turned out the way we put things together after listening to everybody actually worked pretty well.
There are three major sections. On the left is seven acres of new wetlands fed by clean water coming out of the system, and in the lower center an active recreation area.
I will cover each of those in turn.
Slide 24 -- the environmental recovery of the site to recover the sense of community center, community pride in that center that once existed in the early 20th century.
Slide 23, we got a long way to go. In the 1980s this site, actually in the 1950s closed. The mine closed, buildings salvaged, community picked up what was left after that, pretty much abandoned. That's slide 25, I hope. By the 1980s, when this slide was taken, the site had become the town dump and the town's economy was in about the same condition. However, note the rooflines in the background to those houses, and slide 26, you will see those same houses today looking across a new wetland that was created by the AMD and Art project. We have transformed a liability into an asset, created a wetland now contributing its part in the wetland in the region, and now the three sections, a quick history or detail.
Slide 27, show you the upper right side of that site plan. The AMD treatment system, dealing with between 40 and 400-gallons a minute of acid mine drainage, ph of about 2.8. Some of the bonds are the size of olympic swimming pool. The upper, acid pool, done the have much to do with the treatment system, maybe a sediment basin, shallow, large, armored with orange quickly, adjacent to the trail, where we say this is acid mine drainage. Here's what you can do about it. Along this site we planted bands of native trees, selected specifically for their fall color. In the fall, at the upper end where the water is the worst, orange the deepest, you get reds, oranges, yellow, into greens. It's what we call the litmus gardzen. It's really an ash right um of native plants. Ar bor et um.
To make the whole development as artful, don't like artists as decorators, we tried to engage scientists, historians and -- together. One small example of how the team could work. Note the pond shape in this slide, the shapes have changed. No one really knows, on the team, who actually thought of that first. What we do know is one of us said do they really have to be rectangles, and the hydro geologist said not really. The Mark, manager, always looking at budget, why don't we, where we have to do where the most excavation, and the least excavation, wide -- he said, well the flow we need is perfect in that configuration. Ended up with ponds that better fit the landscape and saved us a little money too. That kind of artful solution is something AMD and Art was rather proud of and we managed to do several times.
Slide 29, had a big weekend, almost a festival of tree planting, we planted 1500 trees. Those in the background are the size of the trees we planted, not seedlings. We had 150 people from all over the country, many residents who had moved away, came back to help. The impact on Vin tondale, to see that many people come back was as important as planting the trees. It gave the sense of this is a larger thing than us. People really want to support it.
Months later, slide 30, you will see the trees are growing, much larger now actually, ponds beginning to fill with cat tails, other vegetation, aerobic wetlands, what we wanted, began to create a transformation in this place. Slide 31, wetland area, always my hope that the foundations you see outlined here, the -- machine shop, whatever else, might still exist under what had been a flattened landscape of nothing but bony or waste coal.
This site was probably the most complex in many ways, the most challenging to create. I will go through some of that quickly. Slide 32, we had to remove between four and eight feet of waste coal that had been spread over the site to make it flat. That made it safe but erased the history from the landscape. We couldn't build wetlands on waste coal, so we had to remove that. We found a company that enabled us to work with a coal operator to remove 70,000 tons of material for nothing. Took six months of us working on the permanent, but didn't cost the three or 400,000 it would have cost. We worked with the wildlife habitat council, exposed all the barren river clay, how do we create a wetland on top of that.
Slide 33, the result of another partnership, the U.S. Army Corps of engineers, wanted to demonstrate their artificial soil. Lake dredge, cellulose, the last thing left when you recycle paper, biosolids, lime, six inches across the entire site for nothing, just because we could work with them on the website. The research is on their website now, a happy experiment, and opened a opportunity for all of us.
Slide 34, you see the result, those foundations were there, the coke oven, 400-foot coke oven where you see the people standing, we were able to bring that history back to the surface, reconnect between that proud past and a sort of site that really aims more at the future than at the present.
Trying to build that back into the site really was part of what we are trying to do in this history wetlands we now call it.
Slide 35, local student government came out, planted 10,,000 native wetland speeshs species, had a mud fight, had pretty good times.
Slide 36, that wetland is probably among the more diverse wetland habitats in western Pennsylvania. We were proud to see two successful nesting pairs of wood ducks in the wetland the very first summer, always a nice sign, when you get the featured ducks for Ducks Unlimited nesting in your pond. More important, there are visitors, people coming, bird watchers, wetland science students, looking at how all of this is working. Can It created an attraction for the community.
Slide 37, back to the recreational area, it wasn't even in the original concept. The team had started to work, it was there because at community meetings they made it very clear they wanted active recreation. We thought, oh, gee, do you want a recreation site next to a -- site -- yes. Off we launched. I will confess this recreation area is quite literally a shameless assembly of community interests. There's a baseball field, the volunteer fire department and others wanted a place to play little league home games at home. They didn't have anyplace in Vin tondale. There's volleyball, the high school kids wanted it. Quiet area to the right because moms of little kids wanted to be away from active recreation. Horseshoes, geezers lirk like me wanted horseshoes, a soccer field, I said I wanted one in 1994. We will see that in a minute.
Slide 38, the pave I will Pave I will yon, something we didn't plan on, wanted a shelter for picnics. Okay, this , this could work.
Quick example of multiple funding sources, the timber products, labor from Naviy see bee battalion, all we had to deal with was concrete slab, actually got donated. That pavilion happened because we put the pieces together to make it happen. In 39, the soccer field is much the same way, American Soccer Foundation donated all the equipment for the field. In 94 nobody was playing soccer in Vintondale, today the field is leesed by a parochial school for their home field, realizing income to help maintain it and other parts of the park.
Slide 40, when engagement is the goal, interpretation is critical to the goal. We tried to make sure the site is heavily interpreted, explained, so people can really understand it, connect to what's going on here, why it's going on.
I will have to say I did not stage this picture, but it's exactly what I was hoping would happen. A local mom and her kids walking the site, reading the interpretive signs, understanding how you can do something about acid mine drainage and it doesn't have to be ugly or even boring, it can be be delightful.
Slide 31, the signs are mounted on concrete piers we found on the site, set aside to use as base for the signs. They call connect from where you are to where you could go to see other signs. If you get curious at all, we gotcha. We can pull you into deeper understanding of the site. When there are 80,000 trail users, riding bast, I only need glance over, say what is that, I got them started. That's what we want, we want 80,000 advocates for acid mine drainage, and wetland improvement.
By the time you get to slide 42 we are at the point where we had everything pretty much done, significant list of funding partners, a lot of supporters in the community, we had the site built.
We could have stopped there, but as a curious person I kept wondering what else we might do. Seemed to get easier instead of harder as we gained more success. We kept exploring to see what other possibilities there might be. I want to point out in the center of the slide where you see the yellow curve going up. That's a ditch that existed. At the top is the big mine, thousands of men went to work every day. I will be back in a minute to that site, remember that location, looking out over what's new wetland areas.
Slide 43, think being what else we might do, we actual low submitted a Rockefeller grant to start an environmental education center and were able do lease, for $1 a year, the church, the closest building to the site, basement built as small theater, couldn't have been a better site to locate into. We found it by pure luck as much as anything else, the few members surviving of the hung huh church --
We went after interpretive projects in that grant -- and came in to supply the art side of that interpretive effort, you see the beginnings in slide 44.
This is the site immediately at the point where mine -- standing on the ghost town trail, the povertial portal to the right, and the trail right at grade. Here we are with this great interpretive overlook across the history wetlands looking at the community. What we did is, go to slide 45, use an old 1923 Insurance map, done for almost every industrial site in America, tremendous historical resource. We gave that to mosaic artists who you will see in slide 46, interpreted that with us, working with her, into a nine by 15-foot mosaic of the San born insurance map, all the buildings, major streets in town, kind of best most significant features pulled out in the mosaic, surrounded by a frame, open 24/7. You will find the community members are constant Lee out there looking at stuff on the frame, the map, to see where mom's house was located at the corner of third and Maybele street, to connect with the proud past that was part of the history.
To enhance that. The polished tiles, and etched into them, the buildings that were on the site, some of the other major buildings that had been, some lost, some not. We had news head lines, basically chronology of the community as told in the community newspaper. The first one you actually see is something about Vintondale mine opening. The last one, far end of that line of newspaper things is a little head line about an art project starting in Vintondale. We looked at the population sense us, realized there were 24 different languages spoken in a town of maybe 2000 people. We made a little note about that in the upper left hand corner, translated those 24 languages, the word for hope, into those 24 languages. Put that all the way across the top of this sign.
We don't have to talk about immigration, about community building, about diversity. We don't have to talk about companies who brought in many different groups so they couldn't talk to each other, therefore couldn't organize. All we have to do is bring all those heritages to the surface, let people's imagination, their own memories take it from there, which I find the best way to do good interpretation.
In slide 49 you will see the original portal to mine 6, the big mine in Vintondale. This was the one everybody remembers the most. In the 50s, 60s, when the site was closed they caved in the entrance for safety reasons, you saw a barren hillside for -- we built, and filled with polished stone, I was able to find some 1938 home movie footage of men changing shift at mine 6. That image was then hand eched into this 12 by 15 food photo image almost, if you will, except it was done by hand, that gives a ghostly image, along the ghost town trail. You will see in slide 54 there are six men coming out, three men going in, that daily dance between those who survive and those who walk into the risk was part of daily life in Vintondale, we tried to capture that in the imagine, image, in the portal so many
Ed and some didn't come out of. Again, without seeing all of that in text.
Slide 52, we had fun, where the water returned to the river after it had been through the treatment system in the wot lands we held a national student competition to develop a marker for that. I strongly recommend student competitions, great way to get publicityity, you can select interesting people that you may or may not have met to be on the jury. That's exactly what I did. The upper left hand corner is buster Simpson. There's the Harvard hand scape architecture person, two wonderful Pittsburgh artists, a fellow, former National Park Service employee, a fellow of the American institutes of architects and American Society for landscape architecture, real vernacular landscape got godfather almost, served as the jury for the competition. We really used this as opportunity to create broader and broader partnerships.
Slide 53, you will see the winners of that project, getting a couple of measure.S together for themselves, we actually built the winning proposal. One is English major, one geology major.
Those projects gave us a deeper connection between the artful effort at creating environmental reclamation project. In slide 54, I will admit this whole process was not without moments of concern, but there were also wonderful rewards in the process. We did win the wetlands award from the state of Pennsylvania, a green design award from the Pennsylvania environmental council. We won the Phoenix award, the sort ofS on s O scar.
The best award is that other projects also kind of spin off of this one. This is the University of Virginia in Wise, Virginia. This lake is actually fed by a ditch, you will see in 56, that was coming off of an old strip pit, and was contaminated by acid mine drainage. The lake wasn't in very good shape either. We approached the local watershed group, the university any the universe about engaging me, others, brought in a wonderful student intern.
Gave us a kind of image of what we were proposing, series of ponds, the university agreed to become a partner with others, the water shed group, others to build the thing.
Today, remember the brick house you saw the end of the ditch, slide 38, 58 rather, that's the same place, only now it's an acid mine drainage treatment system and a science rich habitat an active part of curriculum, becomes a place where everyone from scientists to poets have done projects that have been quite impressive.
A further stretch, in slide 59, I had a opportunity to see how long, how far we might really push this multidiscipline idea. This is Oregon coast. In slide 60, working on the salmon river, first tribe tributary, sponsor by the Sitca center for art and -- came up with the idea of creating long-term inter mitten the rez residency for me, my task to bring disciplines, as many as I wanted, I ended up with 16, to look at a small watershed restoration project. Each spent time on the land individually, had to develop a report on value, opportunity they saw from their perspective. For Sitka, slide 62, a chance to look at, look out from the studio project into the environment, and really engage this arts and ecology part of their name in a more active way with the community.
That's what we did. The 16 different disciplines, many were local, a few from outside as well that I brought in. One the same hydro gee geologist that worked with us on the AMD project. Slide 63, also amazingly good on the Indian flute. Asked to meet us there at dawn, played a blessing just to get the project started off on the right foot in that country. It made for a wonderful beginning to what was really an amazing project.
In slide 64, the fish biologist counted fish and everybody else did their thing in the watershed, then each of them wrote their reports. The requirement was they could not write prescriptions, they had to write about values and opportunities. Slide 65, a four-day meeting pulled together to get all of us around the table talking about what to do.
Actually, on the last day of that presentation we had all right committed to, did present a final plan to the public. This project took two years instead of the 12 for AMD and Art. The most interesting thing as a planning process, the ending plan was actually elegantly simple and primarily I think because all the disciplines were there, represented at the table, and the balance that resulted created a much stronger project. Today, slide 66, that plan really has the twin strength of the arts and the sciences on the Salmon River, the partnerships with other agencies active in the area and the community.
Slide 67, back in coal country, the challenge remains everywhere to build the partnerships, use all the disciplines, to meet the challenge of dead streams and dying communities, not just acid mine drainage. In slide 68, the consequence of straight pipes, straight from the toil et to the creek. Uncreated sewage, every time it floods leaves this scene. Most of these are impoverished areas where the local stream is the local recreation stream.
These require serious dialogue. We have to find ways to restart community confer conversations around what to do about the future, how to get there, not complain about it forever, get citizens engaged in their own -- driving their own access to improvement.
Slide 70, I think we all need to stretch, we even did art exhibits like this one to celebrate what most people thought was embarrassing.
To look at the beauty that's often present inside what seems like a truly ugly place. To kind of twist that around a little bit, to get people to think in new ways. Slide 70, we took time to celebrate. This is the parade held in Vintondale, finished the project, handed back to the community completed, having the fire department, all the cars, everything else out there was really a buzz. I think we have to rethink. Slide ?roo 72, we respected another community, completely different approach, Brownfields grant project that translated the traditional Brownfields concept here, to slide 73, a whole wawrptd watershed, to describe, identify a Brownfields, .
I urge everyone not to fear complexity. The ratio of success to the level of complexity is direct. There's a -- partnerships are strength, no matter how frustrating and confusing they may be to develop. We started AMD and Art, got big start from an EP a grant, we didn't think great, now we got the money, we can do it, thought of leveraging that into larger opportunities. That's what we did with that, project. I will admit, in slide 75, it still takes a lot of work and at least one responsible adult, probably a hard-headed adult to just drive things on occasion, but it also takes a real team. Like slide 76, this was the team of managers that worked in Vintondale, Pennsylvania, this is the team of workers that worked too. It takes both sides of that equation, agencies, elected officials, and it takes workers, watershed groups, driving the community to do something about their watershed.
Slide 78, one year of the team, happened in lots of places, this is as big as it ever got. By discipline, historian, sculptor, hydro geologist, members, biologist, landscape architect. Agencies, there's a federal agency, freelance sculptor, academic landscape designer, Bob, the hydro geologist, wonderful patient person, small consulting firm, A mer i Corps, the only staff we had were they and Vista, used to laugh at ourselves, not supposed to call them staff, but volunteer directors aren't much for directors, but we raised a million dollars and finished a 35-acre park. The bureaucrats in the back that made it happen, I brought them to the site to see what they were helping to fund. In this slide there are agency people, academics, community officials. It takes all of them. The more aware, the more engaged all of thunderstorm are them are, the better off things are.The most rewarding spin off, in slide 80, the Appalachian Coal country team, three sites in Tennessee, five in West Virginia. Today it's 55 positions across eight states. Everyone of these young people, some of them aren't so young, working individually with small groups, try trying to clean up the mess from old coal. For me, trying to engage the energy, spreading the -- working across disciplinary boundaries, not getting bound up in just the science, just the history, but to really look at broader solutions, and engage more people. I would be remiss or at least want to take the opportunity right now in slide 84, 81, to say thank you to one of those Vistas, Jenny Becksted, served as the team leader, had the dubious distinction of working directly with me two years and she's been wonderful. And I want to say thanks.
Slide 82, for more information, three places to go. The eastern coal region round table, just what is says, best source for what's going on. Where to get help, if you are a watershed group, whatever else. The AMD and Art side at.info, the text for every grant we got, spread throughout the website. As you do the website tour, you will find where we found the money to do all of those projects, and you will have interesting examples of how we wrote the grants some years ago as you start to write your own.
Finally the Appalachian coal country -- tremendous resource, anybody that knows anybody who wants to work for us, always looking for more Vistas.
Slide 83, important to always remember that it's really about this artful engagement. The real contact between real people and real places. The opportunity of using science, recreational environmental projects to draw everybody in, share the reason why their tax money is being well-spent in projects like this. I submit it works almost everywhere. This is Basin, Montana, you can go back to Vin tondale, community engagement, smaller than the geography might suggest. The idea of partnerships, the idea the sciences are necessary, not sufficient, 94 are sufficient.
It was a wonderful gift to explore the idea over many years and to have a Board that would let me get away with continuing to work on it so long as I could find the money and the Corps energy lifted the project to the real success.
In 87, it's now done. We are, as I said, the website is a catalog of ideas, funders, ways to approach the problem.
In slide 88 I have to tell one quick story, went to the first public meeting in Vin tondale, held in the veteran's hall, a bar in the front and big bingo particle bingo parlor. I asked somebody -- they said are you here for the art project?
I said Yeah. It's actually my idea. And you could hear their laughter ripple down the bar. Ha-ha, dummest thing I ever heard, nobody will do anything, sulfur creeks here 50 years, nothing good in Vin ton Dale in 50 years, but we went headz with the public meeting. Four years later, we are building picnic tables, some fire department members for a park that hasn't been built yet. Two guys in the picture were at the bar. And it's that capacity to build on hope, that I think real engagement, environmental projects can bring across this nation.
Slide 89 is me ready for questions.
Thrarchg thank you Alan.
If we could all move to slide 90.
Though it's the summertime, and many of you are going on vacation the watershed economy academy team in the going anywhere. Our August 15 webcast, national environmental train -- will discuss eyes on the environment, innovative outreach project.
Local broadcast meet meter
Move to slide 91. Where you can obtain Alan's contact information, click on the home button at top of screen, seminars homepage, today's e-mail address, phone number, of Allen on it.
Left-hand side bar, a links button with additional resources for today's webcast. Left-hand sidebar, feedback button, take a minute or so to submit the feedback form, we really do consider your comments in our quest to improve the webcast.
At this time we will address audience questions, beginning with those submitted online.
Again, if anyone is online, would like to ask a question, please send it in.
Greg in dc d, would like to know is there already a great deal are concern regarding AMD in Vinton Dale before your leadership or did you have to raise awareness about the issue?
Actually, the awareness of AMD in coal country in general is there. Everybody knows it's there, everybody also knows it's been there a long time, adjusted to living with it. The level of concern about AMD is often very low. It's only bh when you start to raise the opportunity about doing something about it, demonstrate you can do something about it, that AMD becomes, lifts itself up to the level of concern, rather than just awareness. I remember when I worked in an office in Al toon a, Pennsylvania, the second told me when she was a kid she used to think all the kids were filled with orange juice. It's a way of adjusting to the reality of the life one lives in coal country. To say there was a lot of concern isn't fair, but to say there's awareness of what they all call sulfur creeks, it was there, but creating an opportunity to do something about it, creating the belief that we actually would deliver on doing something about it was a real challenge for AMD and Art.
Second question: From Brandon in Virginia. He would like to know are there going to be similar a am AMD and art programs in other parts of the country?
I hope so. Ready to talk to almost anybody about, the reason we put the website up, almost a catalog of where we managed to take this project over many year says. s. I doubt anybody would be crazy enough to do that in the same place all over again. We went to the University of Virginia Wise, from 12 years from fum fumbling to finished, it took literally two, from fumbling to finished. How fast you can go when you know where you are going. I am always excited to see other project,s adapting to their own culture and problems.
Ed in Connecticut: Would like to know what advice to you have for watersheds not already impacted by development, but at risk from future development. How can you engage citizen in a potential problem that may come from failure to act proactively?
This is Ed? Ed doesn't ask easy questions. One of the interesting challenges, opportunities I would see in engaging arts, humanities, watershed work, facilitates other perspectives. If you try to preach to people about the potential science impacts of nonpoint source -- look at how much has changed in a watershed over that period of time, suggest how much more could change in a shorter period of time, you have more interesting information for the public. You can also begin to engage artists, whiters writers, thinking of ways to engage the public in environmental projects. I was just talking to some people in South Florida doing a remarkable job of engaging teachers and artists in teaching math, history, everything else across the curriculum perspective, with the arts. It's that kind of real collaborative engagement I think can really help address problems that seem either distant, obscure, too sciencey for ord nary folks to understand.
Next question from Patty in Virginia: What parts of Apalachicola ya need the most remediation.
The answer has to do with jee olg. The northern coal fields are more heavily impacted than the southern coal fields. The North/South line is about the middle of West Virginia. You will find the AMD discharges have lower ph and higher metal, require more effort to address all of them. The Brownfields project we wrote the grant for in Central Industry, Shade Creek, nine miles long and there were 21 acid mine drainage discharges in that nine miles, three over 1000-gallons a minute, one really high in aluminum. You have to mind ways to engage all of those. You will find it not untypical in the northern fields, call the way to Scranton, Pennsylvania. Where you move South, acid mine drainage is there, but more problems of straight pipes and AMD often in combination.
At this time, if anyone would like to ask a question over the phone, unmute yourself, give your name, organization before your question.
If there are no questions over the phone this concludes today's watershed --
On behalf of the entire EP a webcast team I would like to thank Dr. T Allen comp for presenting today.
And of course, thanks to everybody one of you who joined us. From the office of wetland and watersheds, signing off, have a good day.