Upper Potomac Riverkeeper
As the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, Brent Walls is responsible for defending the public trust of the rivers and streams in the Upper Potomac by advocating for clean water and ensuring the virtues of the Clean Water Act are enforced.
Brent Walls has been an advocate for clean water for over a decade. With an Environmental Science background in freshwater ecology, Brent has brought a valuable scientific perspective to Potomac Riverkeeper since 2009. His experience in water quality sampling and drone pollution surveillance has ensured defensible enforcement actions and has been a unique advising asset with local watershed groups. Brent’s love of maps and proficiency with Geographical Information Systems has inspired the development of Water Trail maps in the Upper Potomac and has provided PRK with valuable interactive web maps and the creation of a mobile application to report water pollution.
THE UPPER POTOMAC WATERSHED
The Upper Potomac River is the northern, freshwater portion of the Potomac River. It consists of two main streams, the North and South Branches, which converge at Greenspring, WV. The South Branch begins in Hightown, VA, and the North Branch in Eglon, WV.
This region of our watershed has a rich history spanning back to the presence of the Sioux-speaking Native American tribes that lived along the banks of the North Branch, and the members of the Powhatan chiefdom who inhabited the lands surrounding the South Branch. Subsequently, some names of regional settlements were influenced, such as Wappocomo, West Virginia, and the Wappocomo Plantation in Romney, West Virginia.
The region continued to be an important part of our Nation’s history, most notably with the battle of Antietam during the Civil War – still considered the bloodiest day in American history with a total of 22,717 soldiers dead, wounded, or missing.
The Upper Potomac today is considered a hot spot for many outdoor adventures thanks to its stunning scenery of jagged sandstone cliffs surrounded by vibrant deciduous forests. The area is a great spot for activities such as trout fishing, hiking, and whitewater kayaking.