This week, American Rivers released their 2012 list of America's Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers—a list that includes rivers in every corner of the country for reasons ranging from dams to fracking and dewatering. The Potomac River tops the list though because of proposed changes to the Clean Water Act that would open the door to further urban and agricultural pollution. These changes would not only affect the Potomac, but every river across the country.
I was 9 years old when I learned to whitewater kayak with my dad on the Potomac River in DC. It started out with popping enders at Maryland Chute after school and gradually progressed to regular laps down Great Falls. Neither ice, heat, crowds or floods could keep me off of the Potomac once I got hooked.
I've since moved to the west coast, but protecting the Potomac is still critically important. Paddling has been a super important part of my life and it's tough to think that other kids may not have the same opportunities to learn to paddle that I did on the Potomac. Though the Potomac is facing these threats directly, weakening the Clean Water Act could affect every river in America. Head over to the American Rivers' site to check out the other rivers that made the list and send a message to Washington affirming your support of clean and healthy rivers.
Great Falls photo courtesy Martin Radigan.