Potomac Programs

“Clean water is a fundamental human right. The greatest legacy we can leave for our children is access to clean water. Safeguarding the Nation’s River, which provides drinking water to approximately seven million people, is a serious responsibility.” – Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper

Enforcement & Advocacy

We Sue Navy to Require Clean Water Act Permit for Potomac River Weapons Testing!

Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) and NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Navy in federal court in Maryland over violations of the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Navy uses a long stretch of the Potomac River, 53 miles south of Washington DC, and a facility alongside it, in Dahlgren, Virginia, to conduct a wide range of weapons testing. This is the nation’s largest over-the-water gun-firing range.

PRKN  fights to protect the public from eating contaminated oysters

PRKN has joined the State of Maryland in a lawsuit based on PRKN’s investigation of sewer overflows by  St. Mary’s County’s Metropolitan Commission (MetCom) that contaminated downstream oyster beds.  The state and PRKN are seeking an injunction ordering MetCom to cease sewage overflows from its sewer system and to perform necessary corrective action for persistent and illegal discharges of raw sewage from its wastewater treatment plant into the Potomac River and its tributaries upstream from commercially harvested oyster beds.

PRKN works to enhance public access to the Potomac River

Through its Swimmable Potomac campaign, PRKN is absolutely on the right side of the battle to improve water quality and enhance public access to the Potomac River for everyone.

Working with our partner, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congress has passed legislation requiring the US Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of swimming beaches in the District of Columbia.

Program News

press release


Nov 2, 2023

Study Demonstrates Harm to Biodiversity, Heightened Concentration of Neurotoxic Heavy Metals in Sediment Washington, DC –…

An arrow pointing to river pollution in the Alexandria river

PRKN & City of Alexandria Settle Litigation

Nov 2, 2023

In A Victory For The Potomac River, Alexandria Agrees to Clean Up Coal Tar Pollution, Remediate…

US Navy Yard Weapons Testing, Washington DC

Shooting Weapons into the Potomac: Groups Sue Navy…

Jun 21, 2023

Potomac Riverkeeper Network and NRDC File Lawsuit in Federal Court in Maryland WASHINGTON, DC (June 21,…

Press Release


Oct 13, 2022

Investigations Show Company’s Inadequate Sediment Control During Poultry House Construction Violates Clean Water Act, Pollutes Trout…

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