The mixed blessing of snow
Snow is in the forecast. When you work in water resources in the Potomac River watershed, snow is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, slowly melting snow refills our depleted groundwater, which is especially important after our dry 2023.
On the other hand, salt added to roads and sidewalks will run into our waterways, putting our drinking water, aquatic life, and infrastructure at risk. Our long history of winter salt use has increased the chloride levels in the Potomac River by 10-fold over the past 80 years.
Public safety is always the number one priority. However, using smart winter salting practices will ensure safety and reduce the amount of salt that ends up in our waterways.
Here’s what you can do:
❄️ Shovel First
🧂 Use Less Salt
🧹 After the storm, sweep it up and reuse it next time!
A celebration of field work
In 2023, ICPRB staff accomplished a variety of field activities, including monitoring for microplastics in Washington, D.C., tracking underground streams in the Cacapon River, and tagging and tracking fish in the North Branch Potomac. Stay tuned in 2024 for the results of these studies!