Potomac Health Grade Lowered to 'D'
In 2010, the health of the Potomac River dropped from a 'C' to a 'D', according to a joint study by NOAA and the University of Maryland
If rivers went to school, the Potomac would be a step away from flunking out.
The river fell from a 'C' to a 'D' in overall health, according to a report released by EcoCheck, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science.
"This region had the second largest decline of all [Chesapeake] regions, from a 45% in 2009 to a 34% in 2010," the EcoCheck report said. "Four of the six indicators dropped in score."
The study looked at six factors, comprised of both water quality and biotic indicators.
The poor report card comes at a time when politicians around the country seek to cut costs across the board. In Virginia's case, funding for the Potomac River basin could suffer as early as this fiscal year.
Established over 70 years ago, the commission unites the District, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania with the federal government in order to care for the Potomac River and its tributaries. Its annual budget is $2.5 million, and local jurisdictions contribute about $450,000, the Washington Times reported.
Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) shared his thoughts on his The Dixie Pig blog.
"Sooner or later we need to get serious about controlling water pollution or the Potomac River will continue to suffer," Surovell wrote.
According to Surovell, while the entire Potomac River basin probably takes in one-third of the General Assembly, the 44th district actually borders the Potomac River. Therefore, it is on "the receiving end of everyone else," he said.