Potomac Conservancy releases 2014 State of the Nation’s River Report

Today, the Potomac Conservancy released a new report entitled “2014 State of the Nation’s River: River Friendly Growth” The impressive and engaging report calls for “urgent action to preserve local water quality in the face of rapid urbanization and deforestation,”, and notes that, by 2040, the Potomac River watershed could be home to 2.3 million new residents.


Everyone in Frederick County lives in the watershed of the Potomac River — the “Nation’s River.” The historic river flows along the entire southern edge of the county. Many county residents get drinking water from the river.

The Potomac River is a beautiful and vital natural resource.

And it is threatened.

This important report from the highly respected Potomac Conservancy focuses on some of the significant threats to river, including the loss of forests, the impact of sprawl and the aging sewer infrastructure in our urban areas.

One key premise of the report is that, if we do things right — if we make the right choices and investments — the region can absorb the projected population growth and protect and restore the Potomac.

The Potomac Conservancy provides “common sense solutions that decision makers can implement to make a difference in their communities and in the quality of life of the region.”

The report includes a section entitled “Battlegrounds: Loudoun and Frederick,” that identifies our county and our neighbor across the Potomac as critical areas:

“Sitting alongside opposite banks of the Potomac, Loudoun (VA) and Frederick (MD) counties are each experiencing explosive population growth and rapid urbanization. In fact, Loudounis one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Growth pressure radiating out from the Washington, DC metro area is giving rise to new subdivisions, parking lots, and commercial plazas in once-rural areas. The loss of forest and working lands leaves local streams and rivers susceptible to flooding and increased pollution from urban runoff, sediment, and lawn and crop chemicals. Growing suburban communities, like Loudoun and Frederick counties, play a significant role in the health of the Potomac and our local waterways. These communities can (un)pave the way for river friendly growth by investing in compact, mixed use city centers and committing to thoughtful conservation of forests and rural lands.”


The report contains a lot of valuable information about problems and solutions, and is presented in a well organized, attractive and absorbable format.

In the section of the report on the web, entitled “Partner Support,” there is video with short excerpts from four interviews. I was pleased to be one of those interviewed, along with Hedrick Belin, President of Potomac Conservancy; Nicholas DiPasquale, Director of Chesapeake Bay Program at the EPA; and Destry Jarvis, President of Outdoor Recreation & Park Services, LLC

“The Potomac Conservancy and other groups are critical because we need advocates that are informed and can do their research, suggest alternatives, communicate with the public, and coordinate a coherent response among different stakeholders in the community. That is not the sort of thing that can happen on its own.”
— Kai Hagen, Executive Director of Envision Frederick County

Thank you very much to the staff of the Potomac Conservancy for putting together such an ambitious and important report! And for doing it so well.

Please check out the report on the web and download the pdf file, and look through all the pieces, as you can.


“With millions of new residents arriving in the coming years and decades, now is the perfect time to focus on building long-term sustainable communities.

We can create a shared vision for our growing towns and cities using common-sense planning at the local and county levels.

Thoughtful development considerations can offer affordable and proven solutions to meet population demands, fuel growth, and protect our natural resources.

With a smart planning approach, our growing rural, suburban, and urban communities will become beacons for sustainable, livable, and vibrant communities.”

Visit the home page for the report on the Potomac Conservancy website!

Download the Potomac Conservancy’s 2014 State of the Nation’s River Report (as a 15.4MB pdf file)

This graphic shows the various sections you can find on the website. There is some excellent information, all over, so be sure to check out each section (also linked below the graphic).



Potomac Conservancy on the web

Potomac Conservancy on Facebook

Potomac Conservancy on Twitter