The Sunday Creek Watershed is located in Appalachian Ohio and consists of mostly rural areas with several small communities and villages throughout. Portions of the Wayne National Forest also run through the watershed with the dominant topography being a mixture of steep rolling hills and flat, meandering flood plain along the streams. Covering 139 square miles (88,775 acres) the Sunday Creek Watershed encompasses part of Perry, Athens, and Morgan Counties. Sunday Creek measures 27 miles long and starts flowing north of Corning and flows south through Chauncey where it enters into the Hocking River. The Sunday Creek Watershed is primarily wooded (78%), 38% of the watershed has been deep mined for coal, and 15% of the land is public, owned by the Wayne National Forest.
Culturally, the region boomed when the demand for coal was high and mining became the dominant economic force throughout the area. Red clay was also found to be abundant in the soil and brick factories began to appear in every community, with Appalachian bricks gaining a worldwide reputation for quality. However, these industries have all but disappeared from Southeast Ohio, leaving scars on the people and places of the watershed with acid mine drainage polluting our creeks as well as abandoned or economically depressed communities with few career opportunities for the current generation of families.
The Watershed Group
Founded by a group of local citizens in 1999, the Sunday Creek Watershed Group is a program of Rural Action; a nonprofit organization focused on promoting social, economic and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio.
The Sunday Creek Watershed Group (SCWG) is committed to the restoration of Sunday Creek to pre-mining conditions, with healthy biology and acting as the community resource it should rightfully be. Major water quality impacts on Sunday Creek include acid mine drainage, improperly treated wastewater, illegal dumping, and sedimentation. Our group focuses restoration activities around these issues by using new science as well as proven remediation methods. The SCWG pursues this goal to assist in the revival of watershed communities, through public interaction, conservation, and education in pursuit of a healthy ecosystem capable of supporting biodiversity and recreation.
Goals of the Sunday Creek Watershed Group
- Restore and preserve the water quality of Sunday Creek
- Protect and promote healthy habitat for local folks, flora, and fauna
- Facilitate restoration and reclamation projects and generate funding from government agencies to aid in cleanup efforts.
- Work with area universities to conduct applied research
- Build awareness through community outreach and education
- Promote recreational activities