2021 End of Year Message

Photo by Tusik Only

It is the time of year when we remember how lucky we are in life and how much we value the opportunity that we all have to give back to the world around us. Here are, of course, many things to be thankful for – our health, our families, our friends, the communities in which we live – but at Potomac Riverkeeper Network we keep top of mind the beauty and wonder of nature.  

Nature heals us; nature replenishes us; nature gives us hope for the future.

That’s why we do the work we do – and why we are so grateful to be doing it in partnership with:

  • Thousands of members throughout the watershed who donate to support PRKN’s work to protect and defend the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers
  • More than 800 volunteers who worked this year to monitor the water quality, clean up trash, photograph and report algal outbreaks, teach novices how to fish, and respond to pollution spills
  • Our 75 volunteers who tested the waters took more than 500 water sample samples and posted the results on Swim Guide where 30,000 people viewed them to see whether it was safe to go in the water
  • The 600+ rivergoers who joined us in paddling, tubing, stand-up paddleboarding, rafting, and birdwatching this year – many of whom had never previously been in a kayak or stood on a stand-up paddleboard.

We thank you! Here are a few photos from the year to remember all we have accomplished together in 2021!

EOY Dean WQM
EOY Emily Mussels

So, what’s ahead? We have a very exciting year planned for 2022 – and we want you to be a part of it. It is the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act – the Act that PRKN uses every day to go after the polluters who foul the rivers we love. It is the strongest and most effective tool we have. And we wield it mercilessly to stop pollution. Here are a few photos of Riverkeepers in action this year.

EOY Dean Mallows Bay
2020 Mark's Radio Report
EOY Brent and Brooklyn

So, this year, we will celebrate where we came from before the Clean Water Act was passed 1972 – a disgusting, vile Potomac River – so dirty that President Johnson called it “a national disgrace”.

EOY Dirty Potomac

Where we are now – a beautiful river on the rebound, teeming with fish, with dolphins, with bald eagles, and with paddlers and anglers like you.

EOY Dolphins

But still, too often, filled with sewage, with trash, harmful algal outbreaks, and with animal waste.

EOY Harmful
EOY Don't litter

This is the year that we rededicate ourselves to the vision President Johnson laid out for the Potomac many decades ago:

“The river rich in history and memory which flows by our Nation’s Capital should serve as a model of scenic and recreation values for the entire country”. 

We can do it. We can achieve this goal. We can make the Potomac and Shenandoah fishable, swimmable, and drinkable for all. While we can’t achieve all our goals this year, we can lay the path to follow. Let’s do it in 2022.

– Nancy