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Great Ohio River Relay to Roll Through
Posted on: 09/18/2013
By  Andy Rex
Several environmental and anti-fracking groups have banded together to conduct a relay down the entire length of the Ohio River – to draw attention to what they believe are the dangers of fracking.
The event is organized by the Wheeling Water Warriors.  Robin Mahonen is the group’s founder.
“We’re sending a baton down the river by bike, walking, running, canoeing, kayaking, and even roller skating.  This is a fossil fuel free event.  We’re taking our baton from Pittsburgh all the way to Cairo, Illinois – 981 mile through six states – to draw attention to the issue of fracking in our communities.”
The group is making their way toward Marietta, and Mahonen says there will be an event here, scheduled for tomorrow.
“Thursday morning, there will be a critical mass bike ride through the streets of Marietta.  Anyone who is concerned about the issue is invited to join us for that event.  There will also be a baton passing-off in Point Pleasant from the group in the Marietta area, which is Appalachia Resist, to the group that is handling the Huntington area, which is the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.  There will be a rally in Huntington, West Virginia at 11 am on Monday morning.  There are three rallies coming up in the next few days for anyone in the community that would like to come out and express their concern about fracking.”
There will be a ceremony at noon tomorrow in Muskingum Park.  And, Mahonen says while many people in this area are aware of what fracking is and its possible effects, not everyone does, which led to the creation of this event.
“We wanted to have an event that would bring national attention to the issue of fracking.  To that end, we decided to use the Ohio River, because the Ohio River is in danger right now.  They would like to barge fracking waste water on our Ohio River, which is the source of drinking water for over 5 million people.  Ten percent of the United States lives in the Ohio River Basin.  Anything that happens in the Ohio River affects everyone down the river.”
Mahonen says at the end of the trek, they’ll throw a coin into the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for luck, which she says is a tradition in Cairo. 
You can learn more by visiting the web site http://greatohioriverrelay.com
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