Rob Hedelt's story on Fredericksburg.com tells how much better the river has become (Trip on the river reveals differences).
Hedelt accompanied two Chesapeake Bay Foundation naturalists on a 44 mile cruise up the Potomac from Aquia Creek to D.C. The naturalists were there to measure differences in water quality of the river in Stafford County, Virginia and Washington.
Water clarity is one difference, ranging from one fathom down river to about nine inches around the Wilson Bridge.
The naturalists attribute much of that to the presence of water grasses, with more of it from Mount Vernon down river, less in the waters around urbanized Washington. Sea grass filter particulates from the water and form a nursery for the tasty Blue Crabs we so love in these parts.
The effort to clean the Potomac has been lengthy and not always successful. Thought it never sunk to level of the Cuyahoga River, Washington residents were once prohibited from contact with the Potomac, much less eat the fish caught there.
These days, governments cooperate more or less on improving water quality. An army of volunteers work to clean out the trash along the Potomac watershed. One of those people is Potomac River Squadron's P/C Howard Gasaway whose involvement in the Anacostia River Clean-Up predates his membership in the Power Squadrons.
Cleaner water means better fishing. That, and the new National Harbor, will reestablish the Potomac as a premier boating destination as time goes on.
That has to be good for the Potomac River Power Squadron. We lost a lot of energy as members moved their boats to the Chesapeake and joined yacht clubs located there.
Photo Credit: (cc) richmanwisco on flickr.com