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The Potomac River: Its Future Depends On Us
When English Captain John Smith sailed up the Potomac in 1608, he marveled at the abundance of fish “lying so thick with their heads above the water” that he caught them with a frying pan. By 1951, it was “an open sewer,” denounced the Washington Post, and in 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson decried the river as “a national disgrace.” American Rivers listed it as “America’s most endangered river” in 2012.

The Potomac is clearly cleaner today, but the Potomac Conservancy’s 2020 assessment, based on 2018 and 2019 data, shows the first decline in a decade, down from a B in 2019 to a B-, but substantially improved from its 2011 D grade.  

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Minnesota Tough on Aquatic Invasive Species - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources considerably ramped up its boat inspections, enforcement efforts and educational campaign to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels and other AIS.

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