The Potomac Conservancy has awarded the Potomac River’s health a barely passing “D” grade in its fifth annual State of the Nation’s River report.

Potomac River from above (image courtesy Michael Renner/Flickr)

Population growth and poor land use practices are the primary causes for the river’s pollution, according to the report. The Potomac River’s “two worlds” – rural farms and mountains to the west and the urban landscape to the south – pose different challenges.

Throughout the report, the Potomac Conservancy provides a vision of greater accountability, efficiency and enforcement actions to improve land use practices and water quality. These include strong federal and state stormwater laws, and changing local codes to protect riparian forest buffers, promote well-managed farms, better regulate large farm operations and treat pollution before it enters local waterways.

“We know what needs to be done, but this region is going to have to find the political will to make the hard choices,” according to Potomac Conservancy President Hedrick Belin. “Investing a dollar today to reduce pollution will return clean water dividends for years to come.”

For more information about the state of the Nation’s River report, visit the Potomac Conservancy’s website.

Image courtesy Michael Renner/Flickr



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