Environmental agencies concluded mining discharges in the area helped create the conditions for the algae bloom in 2009. Consol Energy is building a water treatment plant in the area to treat its mining discharges, which is scheduled to start operating next year.
Those who work to restore the river say it's a valuable part of the area's history.
In the mid-1700s, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon -- namesakes of the "Mason-Dixon Line'' -- crossed the area while doing surveying and encountered a German religious sect who lived in the area. The group was called the Dunkards because they dunked people when they baptized them, Wiley said.
The 2009 fish kill brought a lot of attention to the stream, prompting a traveling art exhibit and a play called "Dead Fish Rising,'' performed in nearby Mount Morris, Pa., last year.
"It's very gratifying and [a] positive view for the future, to know that people have cared about this and put their talents to drawing attention to it,'' Wiley said. "It was amazing, what the end result was.''
Wiley said Dunkard Creek isn't as nice as it was when she was a kid, but protecting it will always be a labor of love.
"To me, Dunkard Creek runs through my bloodstream sort of,'' she said. "I grew up right beside the creek, and I can only say that I love it, and it is very important to a lot of people, especially to me.''