ELKINS, W.Va.-The Stuart Recreation Area in Elkins hosted a stream snorkeling adventure co-sponsored by the Monongahela National Forest and the West Virginia Land Trust. Participants were provided with snorkeling gear to explore the water.
“Snorkeling is a really fun activity, but what I think is so cool about it is it’s basically the underwater version of hiking. It gives the public, especially kids, the opportunity to experience nature,” said Chad Landress, fisheries biologist for the Monongahela National Forest.
People discovered more than a dozen different species of fish and insects in the stream.
“When we go snorkeling, we get to see crayfish and fish and macroinvertebrates and all the cool stuff that lives underneath the surface that you wouldn’t normally see,” said Landress.
Representatives say they want the public to leave the event with more respect for wildlife and a desire to keep their water clean.
“Snorkeling gives people a different perspective about appreciating water quality and healthy ecosystems and clean rivers, and it gives the public another outlet for outdoor recreation. All it takes is a $20, $30 snorkel and mask and you can go anywhere on this public land and go snorkeling anytime,” said Landress.
More programs like this will take place all over the Monongahela National Forest throughout the year.