Appalachian Mountain Brewery celebrates World Water Day


Lucy Bomar

Tom Hansell, App State professor of Appalachian Studies and documentary studies, holds plastic collected from the “Trash Trout” workshop, March 22, 2022.

Lucy Bomar, Reporter

Appalachian Mountain Brewery hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of the Clean Water Act on Tuesday, March 22. 

March 22 is World Water Day, a day that raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. According to the United Nations, it is about “taking action to tackle the global water crisis.” The brewery hosted representatives from Mountain True and Watauga Riverkeeper to educate AMB patrons about water: one of  the main ingredients in beer, according to their website.

MountainTrue watershed coordinator Hannah Woodburn said a portion of the proceeds from the event go to benefit MountainTrue, a non-profit conservation organization based in Asheville that works to keep the waters of Western North Carolina clean. 

“We champion clean water and healthy communities. Today, we are celebrating 50 years of the Clean Water Act, which is one of the first pieces of legislation to stop pollution or at least mitigate it,” said Woodburn, an App State alumna. 

Hannah Woodburn stands at the MountainTrue information table, March 22, 2022. (Lucy Bomar)

The Clean Water Act, enacted in 1972, established regulations for pouring pollutants into United States waters and created quality standards for surface waters, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Tom Hansell, documentary filmmaker and App State professor of Appalachian Studies and documentary studies, attended the event as an instructor. Hansell hosted a workshop for the “Trash Trout Motion Picture Show,” a silent film reel. To create the film, Hansell worked with Andy Hill, Watauga Riverkeeper, the Town of Boone and the New River Conservancy to procure plastic from the “Trash Trout,” a nickname for a device designed to collect litter in creeks and streams.

In the workshop, Hansell showed attendees how to create patterns and designs with debris collected by the Trash Trout by taping it to 16mm film. When the project is complete, the film strips will be projected onto a large screen and shown at upcoming community events this spring and summer. 

Matt Groce, an App State graduate student, also attended the event. Groce presented his documentary “Pervasive Problems and Imperative Partnerships.” The documentary highlighted the relationship between the Town of Boone, MountainTrue and Asheville Greenworks and their collaborative effort to install the area’s first Trash Trout in Winkler’s Creek. 

Groce said that collaboration and government involvement is key in combating water pollution.

“Using the Town of Boone as a government entity is going to be crucial for things like this and working together in the future,” Groce said.