Get the Potomac Off This List
Saturday evening we stood out at the terrace of the Kennedy Center and watched canoes and boats move serenely on the Potomac River, the spires of Georgetown University and the lights of Washington Harbor in the near distance. It was a bucolic, beautiful scene, one which inspired admiration for the river if you were inclined to think about matters like that. One thing you weren’t thinking was that the Potomac--the “Nation’s River”--was in serious trouble.
But according to American Rivers, a non-profit organization that helps protect America’s rivers and which yearly lists and issues a report on the country’s ten most endangered rivers, the Potomac River is the Most Endangered River for 2012. The causes: urban and agricultural pollution.
It’s not that the river hasn’t been maintained properly or that the Potomac isn’t cleaner than it was before. It’s because it’s the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act this year, which may be in danger of having Congress roll back critical water safeguards. American Rivers is of course a group, as its president, Bob Irvin, said, that will try to “get decision-makers do the right thing”, which would be to preserve all possible safeguards.
We concur. The Potomac, our river here in Washington, and the nation’s river, will keep right on rolling. It needs to do that without being in danger of more pollution. Let’s get the Potomac off the Most Endangered List