Virginia coal fields environmental restoration project builds on its past with an eye to the future

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 19, 2013 – When the seeds of the Powell River Project were planted more than 30 years ago, there was scant science on how to best restore lands disturbed by coal mining, much less any longevity of scientific research on the subject.

Three decades later, the Virginia Tech project has not only yielded groundbreaking research on how to restore natural processes to landscapes in Southwestern Virginia coal country, it has also produced evidence that has led to new reclamation practices that help repair the natural environment around the country. Now a new generation of scientists is examining issues including stream reconstruction, invasive species, microbial ecology, and carbon sequestration, among others.

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