Since 2014, Mountain Watershed Association has been managing the Direct Support Fund, which was started to provide resources and guidance to grassroots groups working to organize their communities around the impacts of shale gas development.
Along the Ohio River Valley from Beaver County, Pennsylvania to Charleston, West Virginia, the oil and gas industry is planning a massive petrochemical build-out with more fracking sites, pipelines, chemical refineries, and underground natural gas storage “hubs”.
The build-out would allow the industry to extract natural gas and its by-products — particularly ethane — to convert into polyethylene plastic pellets, which will then be made into disposable products like grocery bags and shampoo bottles.
The Direct Support Fund, with Plastic Solutions Fund assistance, provides small grants to grassroots groups and advocates working on shale gas and petrochemical issues in the region. The fund aims to provide accessible, consistent resources to these grassroots groups so that they can focus on their work of slowing, and hopefully stopping, petrochemical development in the region.