Appalachian Ohio Clean Watershed Initiative

Appalachian Ohio Clean Watershed Initiative

Protecting the quality of water and the health of citizens is a top priority. However, for many communities and rural areas across Ohio, understanding local water quality issues and finding the resources to address them are often a challenge. As a result, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University and Rural Action created the Appalachian Ohio Clean Watershed Initiative (AOCWI) to help communities and rural areas improve local water quality and restore watersheds in Ohio’s coal bearing region.

Working Together for Clean Water

Whether your interest is improving overall water quality or maintaining good quality water for home, farm, industrial or recreational use, we can help you identify water quality concerns in your community, help determine solutions, assist in the acquisition of funds and manage project development and implementation. Additionally, we offer community outreach and education services as well as training opportunities, such as grant writing, water quality management practices and a variety of water quality technical skills that can be tailored to community members, local government or local natural resources professionals.

Our Services

• Watershed restoration planning
• Site and project assessment assistance
• Data analysis
• Identifying project funds
• Project development
• Grant preparation
• Project management
• Grant administration
• Financial management
• Community education
• Environmental literacy and training

Partner With Us

• Our team has decades of watershed management experience.
• We understand local, state and federal regulations.
• We use a network of skilled professionals to complete project goals.
• We can assist at any stage of project development from pre-assessment
to post-project monitoring.
• We are certified in the collection, handling and analysis of water samples,
ensuring the highest quality test results.

Water Quality Improvement Projects

• Streambank stabilization
• Stormwater management
• Low head dam removal
• Wetland restoration
• Storm drain stenciling
• Streamside forest restoration

Watershed Education & Outreach

• Wastewater treatment options for small communities
• Environmental education door tags for residents
• Presentations to government organizations and citizen groups
• Rain barrel / storm water workshops
• Watershed tours

About Us

The Appalachian Ohio Clean Watershed Initiative is a collaboration between the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and Rural Action. Both organizations bring extensive experience working with water quality issues throughout Appalachian Ohio. We also have a long history of working together to solve complex community water issues.


Ranked in the top 50 innovative public affairs schools in the country by Best Value Schools, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University finds research-based solutions to challenges facing communities, the economy and the environment. By blending real-world problem solving and government, nonprofit sector and industry partnerships with education, students are offered unique learning opportunities as they prepare for careers serving the public interest in Ohio University’s rural region and beyond. Housed at the Voinovich School is the Appalachian Watershed Research Group (AWRG). The AWRG is a collection of faculty, staff and students from across Ohio University dedicated to application-based watershed research for the benefit of the eastern Ohio coal-bearing region. Since 2001, AWRG has been a pioneer in acid mine drainage research and Appalachian water quality restoration, effectively reclaiming approximately 42 miles of stream in the Raccoon Creek Watershed. The Voinovich School manages restoration of Raccoon Creek, a 112 mile stream that spans six counties in Southeast Ohio.


Rural Action is a regional, multi-issue community development organization committed to the preservation of Appalachia Ohio for future generations. For more than two decades, Rural Action has been a force for the development of a just and sustainable Appalachian Ohio, training and organizing citizens to improve their own communities. Rural Action operates programs and social enterprises in forestry, agriculture, environmental education, watershed restoration and zero waste. Since 1994, it has been a leader in stream restoration throughout Ohio’s coal region. Currently, Rural Action coordinates restoration projects in six watersheds spanning seven counties in eastern and southeastern Ohio.



This publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendations, contained in this publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or United States Environmental Protection Agency peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of either Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.



Download Our Brochure



Contact Us


Terry Van Offeren

Rural Action
AOCWI Project Manager



Jen Bowman

Ohio University
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Senior Environmental Project Manager