Environmental News

Occoquan River Clean Up Day

Posted by Lori on October 14, 2014 in Environmental News, Meetups, Occoquan River

Join your neighbors and volunteers in sprucing up the shoreline in town! Everyone is invited and kayakers are welcome.

The Occoquan River Clean Up Day hosted by Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) will take place on Saturday, October 18th from 9:00 to 12:00pm. Meet at Town Hall wearing sturdy shoes. Dumpsters, toilet facilities, trash bags, gloves and light refreshments will be provided. Check out FOTO’s website or event flyer for more info.

Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter to find out about more events like this one!

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Climate Change Casualty: Georgetown Waterfront?

Posted by Lou on August 11, 2013 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Georgetown Waterfront, Potomac River, Washington DC News

The Georgetown waterfront is a favorite among boaters in Washington DC. On any given Friday or Saturday night, you’ll find 30-50 boats tied up along the sea wall.

To reach the Georgetown waterfront by boat, you must pass under a series of bridges: Long Bridge (CSX Railroad), Fenwick Bridge (Metro Yellow Line), all 3 spans of the 14th Street Bridge, Memorial Bridge and Roosevelt Bridge. At current sea levels, each bridge provides 25-30 feet of vertical space for vessel passage.

However, what will happen when sea level rises and the bridges stay the same height? Will boats still be able to reach the Georgetown Waterfront? Not unless the bridges are rebuilt or you’re captaining a submarine.

Take a look at the illustrations below, which imagine what the Potomac River would look like based on varying degrees of low and medium tide, courtesy of the Surging Seas Project. Pay careful attention to the bridge clearances.

The Jefferson Memorial today:

The Jefferson Memorial with 25 ft. of sea level rise:

The white cones on the maps show the location and angle of the camera that is seen in the corresponding illustrations.

Map of Washington D.C. today:

Map of Washington D.C. with 25 ft. of sea level rise:

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Dead Snakehead Fish Wanted

Posted by Lou on March 28, 2012 in Environmental News, Potomac River, Video

how to kill a snakehead fish

The Maryland Department of Natural Resource plans to reward 3 lucky snakehead killers with $200 cash. You read that correctly: anybody who catches and kills a snakehead fish should email photographic evidence to fishingreports@dnr.state.md.us for a chance to win.

This contest is good thing because the Northern snakehead is a non-native, invasive species that  negatively impacts the Potomac River ecosystem. As a top predator, the snakehead fish is a direct threat to valuable fish populations, including bass.

In case you were wondering, there are 3 ways to kills a snakehead: decapitation, evisceration, or gill arch removal. Check out the video for more information.

Via Baynet.com

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Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by Lou on October 11, 2011 in Boating News, Environmental News, Potomac River, Wildlife Refuge

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge

The Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is a strip of 325 acres of pristine riverfront property wedged between Route 1 and the Potomac River.

In 1970, the refuge was made off-limits to the general public. As of today, access is no longer limited. At this point, only boaters can access the refuge via the trail at the southernmost point of Farm Creek, which leads out to Occoquan Bay.

If you’re a fan of hiking and boating, you’re in luck!

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Occoquan Reservoir: A Gem Worth Protecting

Posted by Lou on September 29, 2011 in Environmental News, Occoquan Reservoir, Redevelopment

A worthy article about protecting and improving the Occoquan Reservoir:
Occoquan Reservoir: A Rare Gem Worth Protecting

The Occoquan Reservoir is a rare gem in our increasingly developed area. It is already an irreplaceable drinking water source for 1.7 million people.

Sedimentation input results in knee-deep mud along the bottom of the reservoir that reduces water capacity and aquatic diversity, the clarity of the water is poor, aquatic grasses grow unchecked that inhibit fish stocks and diversity, and on and on.

Check out PWConserve.org for more information.

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Occoquan River Spring Clean-Up

Posted by Lou on April 2, 2011 in Announcements, Environmental News, Occoquan River, Town News

The 10th Annual Occoquan River Spring Clean-Up with take place on Saturday, April 9 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Join your neighbors and Friends of the Occoquan volunteers in sprucing up the shoreline in town! Meet at Town Hall wearing sturdy shoes. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.

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Mount Vernon Streams in Dire Straits

Posted by Lou on January 15, 2011 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Potomac River

The image above, courtesy of the Fairfax County Stormwater Management Program, indicates that the watersheds around Mount Vernon are the lowest quality in the county. The areas around Belmont Bay, fortunately, are high quality.

With the exception of the Colchester stretch, the entire Fairfax shoreline of the Occoquan river is a high-quality watershed.

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Potomac River Healthiest in 50 Years

Posted by Lou on September 12, 2010 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Fishing News, Occoquan Reservoir, Occoquan River, Potomac River

According to the Washington Post, the Potomac River is now the healthiest that it has been since the 1950’s.

“The comeback has been closely tied to the Blue Plains treatment plant, which handles waste from the District and parts of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties. Its outflow is a river in itself: about 300 million gallons a day of treated sewage, enough to fill RFK Stadium.”

“In the past decade, responding to mandates from federal regulators, the plant has added $1 billion in new efforts that allow bacteria to consume the algae-feeding pollutant nitrogen in sewage.”

Read the full article at the Washington Post

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Boat Sinks, Fuel Leaks into Occoquan River

Posted by Lou on June 17, 2010 in Boating News, Environmental News, Occoquan River

Chesapeake Bay Projected Sea Level Rise

Posted by Lou on January 23, 2009 in Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Occoquan River, Potomac River

I found an interesting EPA report released in the waning days of Bush 43 shows that many areas around the Chesapeake Bay’s shoreline are already witnessing the effects of sea level rise and that vulnerable tidal marshes may erode more rapidly over the next century because of climate change. This graphic really says it all:


Luckily, it appears that Occoquan is in the green “safe” zone but when I think about the loss of habitat throughout the bay region, I don’t feel so lucky.  The report, Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region, examines the impacts of sea level rise on the human communities and wildlife habitat of the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Chesapeake Bay. According to the EPA, the Mid-Atlantic region is one area of the U.S. that will likely see the greatest impacts of climate change due to rising waters, coastal storms and a high population concentration along the coastline.

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