We Are On the Beat Protecting Your Right to Clean Water

Photo by Tusik Only

As a lover of the beautiful Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, you already know that Potomac Riverkeeper Network works every day to stop pollution to protect the rivers you depend on as your drinking water source, as habitat for the birds and wildlife you love, and for good, clean fun like kayaking and paddleboarding.

Thank you for your commitment to our work and your support every time we need it.

In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, we want to let you know what we are doing to maintain the health of our staff, our volunteers and others with whom we come in contact as we continue our vital work.

We are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be working remotely, practicing safe distancing, frequent hand washing, and most importantly, we’ll still be working for you and for clean water.

Here is our commitment to you, and what we will keep doing:

  • Dyke Marsh Green SpillWe will continue to investigate your pollution reports. If you see a spill or discolored or bad-smelling water, please report it to us – just use this link to call or contact us online. We’ll send a Riverkeeper to investigate safely and as quickly as possible. In fact, Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper, just helped Friends of Dyke Marsh investigate a spill of some bright green substance into the marsh.
  • We will push ahead our Swimmable Potomac Campaign, and our community science water quality monitoring program at public access sites along the Potomac River, using our floating lab on Sea Dog, our research vessel. We will begin posting results this summer on Swim Guide, a smartphone application you can get for your phone. If you want to volunteer to collect water samples, please sign up for our training sessions, which will move to an online format. We want you to know when it is safe to go in the water.
  • We have organized stream cleanups at the Alexandria Waterfront and National Harbor this summer. Sign up here. We will be sure that everyone practices good social distancing while picking up the trash with protective gloves. There is even more trash than usual because people are afraid to pick it up – so having us organize people to do it safely is all the more important.
  • algae-handWe will be launching a new Respect the Shenandoah Campaign that you can be involved in directly. You can help by taking photos of any outbreaks of stringy, green algae that you observe and send them to us on Water Reporter, the smartphone app, so that we can demand that the manure pollution that causes them to be controlled. With your help this year, we were able to work with Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly to pass legislation making funds more available for putting management practices in place to keep manure on the farm and out of the river. Thank you for your help with this great step forward!

Here’s what you can do:

  • Keep following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and on our website because polluters can still pollute even during social distancing. In fact, they may think that no one is looking right now – but we are!
  • Take the Instagram Challenge “20 Things You Can Do For The River”. This is a fun and safe way to share your commitment to our rivers with our community.
  • Come to the events that we can still have safely this summer. We are ramped up and ready to go once the all-clear is announced. Look for updates on several fun RiverPalooza trips later this year and our new Sea Dog Ports of Call Tour. As with all on-water activities, safety comes first!
  • Support the 2020 Law & Water Gala! It is already on the calendar for October 23, 2020, at the Intercontinental Hotel at The Wharf in Washington, DC. It has the 3 D’s – dinner, drinks, and dancing – so I hope we will all be able to join together in person this year. We also have a backup plan to host an “Un-Gala”, with virtual dining, dancing, and opportunities to sponsor a Virtual Table (or two). Make sure you subscribe to our electronic newsletter for up to date information.
  • DONATE TODAY! Renew or become a member of Potomac Riverkeeper Network. We’re blessed across the Potomac and Shenandoah River watersheds to have beautiful mountain streams, rivers teeming with fish to catch, and great whitewater. Our incredible natural resources must be protected and we need your continued financial support through this crisis to keep this work going.

With hope, this forced isolation will be short and you and your families will be healthy and stronger for the time together. Spend some time outside to enjoy this beautiful part of the country this spring when the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, the birds are singing, and the fish are jumping.

At Potomac Riverkeeper Network, we’re here for you.