For the first time in a decade, the Potomac River’s health grade has declined – slipping from a B in Potomac Conservancy’s 2020 Potomac River Report Card.It’s a far cry from when the Conservancy graded the river an abysmal D just ten years ago, but stalled progress could signal a dangerous reversal in course for the river’s health if bold measures are not taken to address threats. The Potomac River has long been a vital part of the DMV area’s economy, recreation, and way of life. Banks explains how volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another form of pollution in rivers around the world, and are very prevalent in the Potomac River. Hedelt accompanied two Chesapeake Bay Foundation naturalists on a 44 mile cruise up the Potomac from Aquia Creek to D.C. Anthropogenic organic compounds (AOCs) are chemicals that are associated with human activity. I walked along the banks of the Potomac River and enjoyed the views: Key Bridge, Whitehurst Freeway, buildings located across the River … Federal regulations make the limit 0.5 micrograms per liter and does not require it to be lower than that. Thanks to the safeguards of the Clean Water Act, the Potomac is significantly healthier than before and has become a magnet for recreation and an asset to nearby residents. Register Now. Apr 27, 2019, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Headwaters of the Potomac River, near the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia in 1651, John Farrer mapped the Potomac as "Maryland River" Source: Library of Congress, A mapp of Virginia discovered to ye hills(John Farrer/John Overton, 1667) Potomac, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock watersheds Source: Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center as late as 1743, maps portraying the upper reaches of the Potomac River were far from accurate Source: Library of Congress, A map of the British Empire in America with th… While some of these chemicals are released into the environment as an accident, many are discharged into the environment as a result of the different products’ designs. The major toxins found in the water, as stated previously, come from industrial activities, as well as personal care products. The 28th Annual Potomac River Cleanup is right around the corner! That has to be good for the Potomac River Power Squadron. Multiple water rescues were required this weekend in the greater D.C. area due to swimmers being stuck on the Potomac River. The 33rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is scheduled for April 10th, 2021. The effort to clean the Potomac has been lengthy and not always successful. Boating, swimming in the Potomac River: How safe is it? (cc) Creative Commons for non-commercial use by Anthony G. Brown. The Potomac River is an American success story, thanks to the Clean Water Act A boat and a double kayak head into the Potomac River at Riley's … Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Connecting people to their local watershed . The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has become a decisive catalyst for progress that ignites people’s interest and passion for the environment and community action. Headwaters of the Potomac River, near the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia The Potomac River, like the Teays River (now the New River), once flowed north towards the St. Lawrence Valley. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams. The Clean Water Act of 1972 started the resurgence of the Potomac and rivers across the country. After decades of decline, the Potomac River is on its way to recovery. Thought it never sunk to level of the Cuyahoga River, Washington residents were once prohibited from contact with the Potomac, much less eat the fish caught there. Register Now. Northern Snakehead Potomac River Fishing Locations: As far as locations go, they are pretty much everywhere. These events are basic to our mission of enhancing public use and enjoyment of our rivers. Help Us Keep the Potomac Clean! The Potomac River is one of the largest rivers that flows into the Chesapeake Bay, and is the source of up to 75% of the drinking and washing water in the region. The research and evidence shows the large amount of chemicals and pollution in the Potomac River. Riverkeepers are the eyes and ears of the water, protecting the public’s right to clean water in their rivers and streams. The Potomac River used to be terribly polluted, leading President Johnson to call it a national disgrace. Current work [ edit ] In addition to its dedication to monitoring and enforcement of point source and non-point source pollution, Potomac Riverkeeper currently focuses on four main issues: In 2003, a study was conducted by Douglas Chambers and Thomas Leikner that detected endocrine-disrupting compounds in the Potomac River. Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Connecting people to their local watershed . VOCs are formed as a result of commercial and industrial activities. Residents and tourists are turned away every year from swimming because of the conditions of the river. The Bay TMDL is a "pollution diet" established by the Every time it rains, the combined sewer systems of Washington D.C. and the City of Alexandria dump untreated sewage into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. The 28th Annual Potomac River Cleanup is right around the corner! The study believes that these compounds come from municipal and domestic wastewater, as well as industrial and agricultural projects. 07/17/2020; By Press Release, Environmental Integrity Project I think the reason is also for the abundance of aquatic vegetation which creates cover. The proposed controls are estimated to reduce CSOs to the Potomac River by 93% by volume and reduce their frequency from approximately 74 events to 4 events in a year of average rainfall. Achieving high ambitions from down below — coral reefs and the New Deal for Nature & People. The region’s leading clean water advocate, fighting to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. The Potomac River is dirty. Help ensure clean water! That sounds strange, but it’s time to clear up a few points and to provide tips to make your summer cool. Braving the Potomac River for Clean Water - Potomac, MD - Two Potomac River enthusiasts make 132-mile trek. These days, governments cooperate more or less on improving water quality. Or they don’t have an entirely positive view of it, if they’re commuters who’ve been snarled in bottlenecks on a bridge. The Potomac River is now the cleanest it has been in years, according to a new report. AOCs are not the only chemicals that need to be filtered out during the cleansing process. A natural source of pollution occurs from excess runoff from rain that carries chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides into natural water resources, contaminating the water and leading it to be unuseable. Within the last 20 million years, the Potomac River cut a channel through the Blue Ridge and began to flow east towards the Atlantic Ocean. The 33rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is scheduled for April 10th, 2021. These lowly little freshwater creatures could be what cleans it. Broadly speaking, water quality is the chemical, physical, and biological properties of aquatic environments. According to the study conducted by Michael Brayton, about 500 million gallons are taken from the Potomac River to serve the water needs of nearly 5 million people. This has not only affected Washington D.C.’s residents, but also its tourists and community as a whole. It is puzzling how these chemicals end up in the river, but it actually seems very simple when you understand what these chemicals are used for. Sea grass filter particulates from the water and form a nursery for the tasty Blue Crabs we so love in these parts. Thanks to this, the Potomac is much healthier than it was before and has become the attraction for recreation that it is today. For the first time in ten years, the Potomac River is more polluted than it was two years ago. He chose the Potomac River, forever identifying it as the “Nation’s River.”But even more significant than Washington’s riverside estate at Mt. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson called the Potomac River “a national disgrace,” and vowed to clean it up. “In my investigation of the black liquor leak at the Verso mill, in order to get access to the leak, I had to wade the river quite a ways to get to it. Pre-registration is mandatory- Please register through EventBrite. Special swimming events, such as the Nation’s Tri, could apply for exceptions to the rule as of 2007. Note also that there are several small bridges connecting Georgetown areas to the Canal and Potomac River. According to a study by William Banks, these chemicals appear in the Potomac River from agriculture, manufacturing, and domestic use products as means of the waste streams which lead directly to the river. Thought it never sunk to level of the Cuyahoga River, Washington residents were once prohibited from contact with the Potomac, much less eat the fish caught there. The Potomac Conservancy, a clean water advocacy group, issued the river a “B” rating – indicating improved pollution levels and healthier river life – in its annual report published last week. The project consists of a large-diameter deep sewer tunnel, diversion facilities, drop shafts, and support structures to capture flows from existing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) along the Potomac River and convey them to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plan for treatment. Studies show there seems to be no immediate threat from these contaminants, but that still does not excuse human activity from polluting our rivers. Be … quality in the Potomac River estuary, particularly the tidal fresh portion of the estuary from Chain Bridge to the area around Port Washington. Good we made progress since then. Health is at risk when this water is consumed, but who is responsible for this? Clean waters are important to people who fish, swim, and boat in the river and to the animals and plants that make it their home. John Wilkes Booth crossed the Potomac River at Port Tobacco in a 12-foot boat with a broken leg, six nights after assassinating Lincoln. VOCs help in the creation of gasoline, paint, varnishes, solvents, glues, dyes, and plastics, and are transported to rivers by runoff produced by rain. Although there are high amounts of chemicals in the source and drinking water, Brayton’s tests and experiments show the concentrations are usually around 0.1 micrograms per liter or less. Could freshwater mussels be the key to cleaning up the Potomac River in Washington D.C.? The most frequently detected was Chloroform, which appeared in 13 of the 15 samples tested. In the Potomac River, the median number of chemicals found in source water was 17, and it is not currently known what their effects could be and require further study. The effort to clean the Potomac has been lengthy and not always successful. We lost a lot of energy as members moved their boats to the Chesapeake and joined yacht clubs located there. One group is on a mission to reintroduce millions back into the water. Learn more about what you can do to help this effort at www.PotomacCleanup.org. According to a study conducted by Brayton, nearly two-thirds of compounds that are prevalent in source water are also in the finished drinking water. Special Factors Make For Good Business for West Ma... Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. PRKN is participating in this year’s 31 st annual Alice Ferguson Foundation April 13 Clean Up Event at the National Harbor. PRKN is participating in this year’s 31 st annual Alice Ferguson Foundation April 13 Clean Up Event at the National Harbor. An informal blog of Potomac River Power Squadron, a unit of United States Power Squadrons, Rob Hedelt's story on Fredericksburg.com tells how much better the river has become (. Time & Location. Apr 27, 2019, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Lack of regulations in human activity has allowed waste to be transported into the river, causing excess amounts of pollution. The naturalists were there to measure differences in water quality of the river in Stafford County, Virginia and Washington. Both of the chemicals are common in gasoline contaminated groundwater. This is just a start," said Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks. As for VOCs, forty-one different samples were detected in the original source water, with the average being five compounds per sample. 17 of the 26 compounds detected in source water were also detected in the finished water, proving the lack of cleanliness in the finished water. We stop pollution to promote safe drinking water, protect healthy habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment. Join us for the 2020 Potomac Watershed Cleanup/Volunteer Day on Saturday April 18 from 8:45 a.m. to 12 Noon. Human beings have an impact on their environment and need to take a better job of the planet. Agricultural herbicides are very prevalent in source water, but a lot of these chemicals do not get filtered for drinking water as well. The Potomac River is one of the largest rivers that flows into the Chesapeake Bay, and is the source of up to 75% of the drinking and washing water in the region. The Clean Rivers Project is DC Water's ongoing program to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO's) into the District's waterways - the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek. Help out Mother Nature and Mothers of Domestic Violence. These chemicals are detected year round and are assumed to stay at high levels due to runoff as a result of rain. The river adds life and personality to Washington DC. Cleaning up a street, schoolyard, or park gets rid of the trash before it goes into storm drains or other waterways that dump into the Potomac. Fortunately, these chemicals are found in small concentrations that are well below the legal limit for serving. “I think a lot of people overlook the river,” says Garrett Peck, author of The Potomac River: A History & Guide. It is reasonable to believe that humans are a major cause of pollution in The Potomac River, and will continue to be if there is no change in our habits. Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is Less Than Two Weeks Away Volunteers Needed for Annual Cleanup Event. There are a variety of ways that pollution occurs in a river, but there seems to be excess pollution in the Potomac. Banks’ studies have shown AOC concentrations just as prevalent in finished water as source water, and some of these AOCs are created during the filtering and disinfection process. The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project and the Potomac Conservancy are inviting the public to help name two bottlenose dolphins living in the Potomac River. I will give you the best spots for catching … The naturalists attribute much of that to the presence of water grasses, with more of it from Mount Vernon down river, less in the waters around urbanized Washington. Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc. was established in 2000 by principals of local environmental groups to fulfill a niche for a strong advocate to enforce clean water laws for the Potomac River and its tributaries. The COG is in the process of improving the water quality of many rivers in the area, including the Potomac. Join us for the 2020 Potomac Watershed Cleanup/Volunteer Day on Saturday April 18 from 8:45 a.m. to 12 Noon. Baltimore Shows Us How to Bring Them Back. Overview The Potomac River Tunnel is the next major phase of the DC Clean Rivers Project. Because of this small concentration size, it is expected and assumed that the damage to human beings is very minimal, if not any at all. Pollution of the Potomac is not a new problem, but one with a lot of history. Learn more about what you can do to help this effort at www.PotomacCleanup.org. As of now, the effects may be minimal, but further testing and experimentation could prove otherwise. An army of volunteers work to clean out the, Cleaner water means better fishing. 3 Helpful votes. Why Climate Crisis Is The Human Species’ Perfect Nemesis, Opinion: From today’s tragedy, let’s shape a bold, new trajectory for people and our planet, Coronavirus: an environmentalist’s perspective, The control system engineering perspective on climate control, What Bezos’s $10 Billion Can Do for the Climate Fight. DC Water’s federally mandated Clean Rivers Project, for example, is on track to sharply decrease the volume of untreated stormwater headed to the river as it continues to curb sewer overflows in the coming years. With all the progress made since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, it may still surprise you to learn there are plenty of ways you can still legally pollute the Potomac River. “The river is an obstacle to getting to and from work.” Or was, until the coronavirus. The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has become a decisive catalyst for progress that ignites people’s interest and passion for the environment and community action. … Read more. 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