In the mid-1960s, the water quality of the Potomac River was unhealthy. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson called the river a "national disgrace." Development and public neglect had allowed the river to become polluted with sediment, sewage, and industrial waste. Through the efforts of federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations and concerned citizens, the Potomac River is making a remarkable comeback.
AS many as 15 million herring were stocked upstream to imprint on new spawning territory in Rock Creek and Anacostia River tributaries.
"Fish ladders" enabling spawning fish to cross 23 man-made barriers were created on Rock Creek and Anacostia River Tributaries.
Stream banks were restored and four acres of wetland created in Alexandria.
More than 140 acres of woodlands were planted or preserved in Prince George's County
Twenty-two acres of river grasses were planted in the lower Potomac.
An 84-acre bald eagle sanctuary was established in Prince George's County.
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Environmental Initiatives
More than 50 million dollars was spent as part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction to improve the health of the Potomac River and its tributaries. Important ecological restoration
projects were funded through the region.
Ways you can improve the health of the river:
Conserve Water = less water that needs to be treated at drinking water and sewage treatment plants
Reduce Electricity Consumption = less burning of fossil fuels which release toxic substances that impact forests, fish and water quality
Reduce Use of Chemicals = less toxic run-off from household, lawn and garden chemicals that can end up in our water and harm fish, wildlife, and people