The Monongahela River is a 130-mile-long river that Morgantown tends to steer clear of. It is usually a shade of brown – green, and is always cloudy. It is nice to have a river right next to campus, but it is not one that many like to get near.

What about those that have to use the river for their club or their sport? It’s easy to get lost looking at the green slime on the river and forget about the people that actually have to get near that green slime.

I asked two previous members of the rowing team a few questions about their opinions on the Mon River. They shared some similar thoughts, but also had a few differences of opinion (they asked to remain anonymous since they are no longer on the team).

In general, what is your opinion of the Mon River?

1. I think the Mon River is a great place for rowing or just athletics in general. The only problem is it can be dirty some days.

2. The Mon River is beautiful to look at from a far. The closer you get the grosser the water looks.

Has the quality of the river ever effected team practices or competition?

1. The river is only un-rowable when it’s raining really hard due to the miniature waves in the boat, or if there are boats in the river then the boat wakes may make it difficult. A lot of debris also can impact rowing and cancel an event.

2. The only thing that has ever effected our practice is large logs or debris getting in the way of the boats. The stuff is sometimes hard to spots because of how dirty the water is

Would you use the river even if the sport didn’t require it?

1.I would use the river for my own personal activities like kayaking if I didn’t have to row on the water. It also is a great way to build up strength.

2. If I wasn’t on the rowing team then I would never use the river. I would only use it if there were kayak rentals along the river.

Were there alternatives you used in place of the river?

1. Alternatively, if there were days we couldn’t use the river we used the stationary rowing machines in the shell building for practice. They offer a higher resistance and great results. They also offer more data on the rowing session itself on a machine rather than in a boat.

2. There are no alternative places we use unless we are traveling to another school or state

In general, what was your teams overall opinion of the river?

1. My team loved being on the river for practice. Choppy waters just made practice that much more challenging and fun.

2. Everyone thought the river was gross and if we went in we would get a disease. The water is a gross greenish color an looks very unsanitary.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about the rowing team and using the river?

1.The rowing team would like more recognition from WVU and its students. A lot of people overlook the team because it’s not able to bring in as much publicity and money such as football and basketball, but we are still WVU athletes at the end of the day.

2. There is a lot of trash in the mom river that’s nasty. I would just ask people to keep in mind when they think of polluting the river, to think of those that have to use it.

So overall it comes down to perspective and what some people consider gross, others can manage. Always remember that people have to use the river, and it would be nice if it was a shade of blue once in awhile.

You can read more about water quality problems in Morgantown over at Ashley’s post. You can also learn about the tap water (that comes from the Mon River) quality in Morgantown in Shannon’s post.