Loudoun Wildlife, PVAS Host Christmas Bird Counts

Two Downstream Project partners invite everyone to join in their annual Christmas Bird Counts. The event was started in 1899 by the National Audubon Society and now takes place across the country. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s count is scheduled for Thursday, December 28, in Loudoun County, Va. The count circle has a 15-mile diameter, covering 177 […]

U.S. waters are connected by a fundamental force

How often do you think about gravity? Not even in the fall? The season kind of named for gravity? Not even when seemingly weightless orange, gold and red leaves glide towards the Earth, pulled inexorably toward its center by a powerful force that you can’t even see? Or when those leaves land gently in a […]

Warning: You can run, but you can’t swim

Tucked away in a tiny notice in the sports digest of The Washington Post this week was one line that spoke volumes. The notice was reporting on the results of the ninth Annual Events DC Nation’s Triathlon benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The line read: “…the swimming portion of the event was canceled due […]

Sex and Drinking Water

It’s hard to get more fundamental than this. The water news this week focused on the toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie that poisoned Toledo, Ohio’s drinking water, and a federal study that discovered intersex fish throughout the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Ohio Rivers. But these stories really are just the tip of the iceberg: Many, […]

Oyster restoration offers a foothold for the future

This past spring, we blogged about a federal study demonstrating how oyster replenishment could eliminate nitrogen pollution in the Potomac River estuary. Now that it’s summer, the news is filled with encouraging stories of oyster restoration projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Josh Bollinger of The Star Democrat in Easton, Maryland recently reported on replenishment efforts […]

Soundings: The Back Story

This story was first posted in July of 2014, but provides a little back story to my ongoing adventures on the good ship Arcadia and my good friend Lex Birney’s entry into the Annapolis Bermuda Race 2016. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch […]

The not-so-secret ingredient: Just add oysters

With the Obama Administration’s Executive Order to clean-up the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Blueprint’s multi-step plan for doing so, and an alphabet soup of technical terms for controlling pollution – TMDLs, CREP, BOD, N loads, P levels and more – much of the Bay’s cleanup focuses on taking things out of it: Reducing the […]

Does the Potomac Pass the Test?

In 2012, the conservation group Americans Rivers ranked the Potomac one of the nation’s most endangered rivers. As 2013 came to a close, the Potomac Conservancy issued a more comprehensive report card with its latest take on the Potomac’s status. Considering five major indicators – fish, habitat, pollution, land and people – the Conservancy awarded […]

EPA Agrees: We All Live Downstream

In a draft scientific report the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed what many of us already know:  That small streams – and many wetlands — substantially affect the physical, chemical and biological makeup of rivers downstream. This seemingly simple concept has big implications.  For years, environmentalists, trade associations, citizens and government agencies have […]

Water pollution? There’s an app for that.

Downstream Project Executive Director (and Rotarian) Bill Howard invited Upper Potomac River Manager for the Potomac RIVERKEEPER, Brent Walls, to speak at the Shepherdstown, WV Rotary Club breakfast last week, where Brent announced the Water Reporter —a new iPhone and iPad app (Android coming soon) that lets you report pollution as soon as you see it.   […]