The Ohio River valley is lush in the spring. The eastern Ohio River, one of America's most economically vital waterways, winds through the rolling green foothills of Appalachia as it ambles past small towns and cities in Ohio and West Virginia.
The valley has been heavily industrialized for decades. Coal-burning power plants, chemical processing facilities and mills dot the riverside. In 2012, the Ohio River was ranked the nation's most polluted waterway, according to government data compiled by Environment America. Elisa Young is determined to keep the river from getting worse.