Under the guidance of Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent Walls, Potomac Riverkeeper Network has developed a program that uses drone technology to advance our ability to detect and gather information on water pollution sources that are impacting water quality in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Establishing a formal drone program is an important step that expresses the professionalism of our organization’s ability to collect and use imagery for the purpose of advocacy and potential litigation.

PRKN welcomes the inclusion of volunteers with a drone to fly missions for the purpose of PRKN activity; which includes imagery for social media, flight operations during an advocacy event or identifying pollution issues. PRKN requires that the volunteer drone pilot attend an annual Drone Pilot Training course if the volunteer intends to fly missions for PRKN, even if the drone pilot has a FAA Drone Pilots License. PRKN also requests that any mission that is flown under the direction of PRKN by a volunteer drone pilot must follow all standard operating procedures put forth by Potomac Riverkeeper Network. PRKN prefers that a staff member of PRKN is onsite with the volunteer drone pilot if conducting a mission directed by PRKN staff. Please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@prknetwork.org if you would like to get involved.

Brent and his drone at work! Photo credit Alan Lehman.

Click here to read PRKN’s full Drone Surveillance Program Standard Operating Procedures.