Watersheds - Watersheds are comprised of a number of streams and creeks that drain into progressively larger streams to eventually form a river. Each of the streams or creeks has their own watersheds, or sub-basins, that flows from higher elevations to lower elevations. Watersheds include both surface and groundwater.
OSMRE Initiatives in the Appalachian Region
Acid Drainage Technology Initiative (ADTI) - Acid mine drainage (AMD) has been a detrimental by-product of coal mining for many years. At present, acid mine drainage continues to pose a potential problem in some areas, despite improved prediction and prevention techniques.
Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) - The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) is a coalition of groups, including citizens, the coal industry, and government dedicated to restoring forests on coal mined lands in the Eastern United States. ARRI advocates using a technique known as the Forestry Reclamation Approach, or FRA, to plant trees on reclaimed coal mined lands.
Dam Safety - Approaches to Dam Safety have evolved throughout the years because of knowledge gained through dam failures. Dam Safety Programs have become a significant element in many agencies to ensure protection of the public and the environment by reducing risks associated with dams.
National Fish Habitat Action Plan - The National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) is the the first nationwide, consolidated effort to protect, improve, and restore habitat for fish and other aquatic species. OSMRE and its State and Tribal partners have an important role in this initiative by identifying, prioritizing, and reclaiming abandoned mine lands (AML) that are impacting fish and aquatic habitats. OSMRE and State and Tribal reclamation agencies have improved water quality and fish habitat conditions in hundreds of watersheds throughout the U.S. by reclaiming physical habitat, restoring stream segments, treating acid-forming materials, reducing erosion, and neutralizing polluted coal mine discharges.
National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) - Established by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, the National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) collects and maintains mine map information and images for the entire country, including data and maps of coal mines in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. The repository contains maps from the 1850s to the present day. Looking for a map? Search the National Mine Map Index System. Maintained by the National Mine Map Repository (NMMR), the index system allows visitors to search the database listing of mine maps available from NMMR.
Reforestation - Reforestation is the re-establishment of a natural forest system on formerly mined lands or other deforested sites. Forest reclamation of coal mined lands benefits the environment, economy, landowners, local community, wildlife, and improves carbon sequestration.
Stream Protection - Unregulated coal mining in Appalachia and elsewhere in the nation’s coal fields has had devastating impacts on the environment, land use, and society as a whole. While SMCRA has made significant strides in regulating contemporary mining, recent studies have substantiated that adverse environmental impacts may continue in certain situations long after the completion of reclamation. Therefore, the Department of the Interior, through the OSMRE, has embarked upon a more protective regulatory strategy known as the Stream Protection Rule (SPR). OSMRE is currently engaged in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the SPR that will analyze various options to address the impacts of burying and mining through streams, including the protection of aquatic communities in streams located on, adjacent to, and downstream from coal mining operations
Underground Mine Mapping - The Underground Mine Mapping initiative is a partnership to further the preservation, archiving, and distribution of underground mine maps between OSMRE, IMCC, and in turn, coal mining state agencies.
VISTA Initiative - In 2002, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), AmeriCorps VISTA and local community non-profits initiated the award-winning OSMRE/VISTA Teams. The OSMRE/VISTA Teams have been recognized by federal, state, and local entities for their innovative partnerships originally designed to bring environmental and economic improvement to the Appalachian Coalfields and then later to the mining districts in the West.