Greeting CWA members,

This update features a Virginia success story for part of the Potomac River and a Maryland program that hopes to get more Native species of trees planted in that state. Enjoy the short descriptions or click on the links for more information on each.

Wishing you the best Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

Deb Fagan, Environmental/Education Committee


Big News and Victory for the Potomac River

After years of informing, then prodding, and finally suing, Dean Naujoks (Potomac Riverkeeper Network) can declare victory in his fight to clean up the decades-old coal tar pollution in Alexandria.

Last week, the city agreed to halt and remediate the coal tar residue seepage from an old and closed gas works plant that it owns. This unsightly and toxic pollution made the river unhealthy at Founders Park, where many gather for paddling, rowing, and other river recreation.

In addition to stepping up to do the right thing, the city also agreed to fund a freshwater mussel restoration project, a huge boost to PRKN’s 50 Million Mussels Project! Freshwater mussels are filter feeders, so they remove pollution from the river and store it in their bodies. The Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) is one of the few organizations in the watershed which litigates to stop pollution. Check out this article in the

For more information about PRKN click:


Maryland’s Gift of Trees: Legacy of Stewardship

Maryland DNR is offering holiday shoppers a different type of gift idea that will benefit the environment and future generations: Planting a Native Tree!

The Gift of Trees program allows Marylanders to purchase a single or entire grove of trees to be planted in honor of someone, to commemorate a celebration or anything important to you.

The Maryland DNR will acknowledge your gift with a certificate suitable for framing and all trees will be planted in the next fall or spring growing season. Place orders by DECEMBER 17 to get the certificate in time for Christmas. Read more.