POTOMAC RIVERKEEPER INCORPORATED

Rating: 5 stars   11 reviews

Issues: Environment, Water

Location: 1100 15th Street, NW 11th floor Washington DC 20005 USA

Mission: The mission of Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc. (PRK) is to stop pollution and to restore clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries through enforcement and community engagement. Potomac Riverkeeper was founded in 2000 and first staffed in 2003. PRK is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Potomac Riverkeeper was formed by leading regional environmental groups and environmental leaders who wanted the strong advocacy and enforcement on the Potomac for which Riverkeepers are known. Potomac Riverkeeper fills a niche in the region as an on-the-water presence and a strong voice for and defender of the river and its tributaries,
Programs: Potomac Riverkeeper has two Riverkeepers (Potomac and Shenandoah) who are on-the-water defenders and advocates for the river. PRK's main programs are: Clean Water Enforcement Program. The goals of the Clean Water Enforcement Program are to 1) identify and prioritize major pollution problems on the Potomac and its tributaries; 2) seek polluter compliance with environmental laws; 3) promote law reform; and 4) promote government accountability for enforcement and compliance. Healthy Rivers = Healthy Communities Program. Goals of this program are to 1) prevent pollution; 2) raise community awareness; 3) build partnerships to help achieve other strategic objectives; and 4) engage members and the public.
Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

EIN 54-1982624
(202) 222-0707
www.potomacriverkeeper.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Potomac Riverkeeper accomplishes many things that larger, similar organizations do not. They also communicate their actions and activities much better, more frequently, across more effective media. Somehow they manage to convey an image that suggests both "swift, energetic, and ever present" and also "mature, efficient, and thorough". Donors have no doubt their contributions are applied well to real problems. They've taken action in the upper watershed that was overlooked by other groups (for decades) and followed through with legal action when the polluter ignored a judge's mandate.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I teach a graduate course in Watershed Science, Education and Leadership at a nearby land grant university. I learned of the Potomac Riverkeeper in researching the advocacy/leadership section of the course, and the next year began communicating with them about my own concerns for the South Branch of the Potomac River. Over the last two years, they have physically investigated each report I submitted about unusual discoveries, and they act. I use them as an example of thoughtful, effective advocacy.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I hope to someday help them raise the funds to provide a "keeper" for each of the Potomac's main tributaries (North Branch, South Branch, Shenandoah, Monocacy. I'm already looking to help them partner to train teachers in delivering "meaningful watershed experiences" here in the South Branch watershed.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Action based: efficient, effective and communicative.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Except for the past few years, I have had very little experience in environmental activities. I am a senior citizen, retired teacher and project administrator.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their creating a staff position for Western Maryland. They also served as a financial pass through institution for our watershed group before we attained our own 501 (c)(3) status/

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The staff who are informed, educated, and concerned professionals who give honest responses to inquiries as they help you solve your problems.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

See above box. I am thinking of Teddy 'Roosevelt's maxim,"Speak softly but carry a big stick," and how that applies to some of the staff I know. Others are more like "Crusaders", which is fine too.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create more watershed staff positions in needed areas. Sponsor more area learning seminars. Strengthen the legal portion so more cases can be undertaken.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

PRK stops pollution by direct confrontation, and if necessary, lawsuits against polluters. Sometimes our precious Potomac needs bold action, and that is us! For example, PRK has lawsuits pending against the largest poultry producers in the Shenandoah Valley. Working with farmers, we have a lighter touch, attempting to persuade them and tap into sources of funding for farm improvements. Closer to DC, we sue sloppy sewage treatment facilities, sue to get better stormwater permitting requirements -- it goes on and on. A lot of organizations talk about cleaner rivers and Bay, but you gotta get down with the polluters and deal with them directly.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am an avid kayaker, canoe camper and fisher. The stuff making its way into the river is scary and disgusting, so reducing it cool.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

PRK is not just talk.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Among the many aspects of my very satisfying volunteer relationship with PRK over the past three+ years, I recently had the opportunity to work with a staff member at a local Whole Foods market. On this particular day, this store and two others in the area, was donating 5% of its intake to PRK. I found it very rewarding to thank people for making a donation, some of whom did not realize they were making. I also enjoyed telling people about what we do and why we do it.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the very competent staff in addressing PRK's mission.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very dedicated to the vision and mission of the organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do so much more towards cleaning up the water in the Potomac Watershed! We would have the funding to launch a major educational effort, letting people know about the pollution in the watershed, what it means to them, and what they can do about it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have found Potomac Riverkeeper's staff to be highly dedicated, professional, and energetic. They all realize both the importance of their mission and the many obstacles that impede efforts to improve water quality in the Potomac River watershed. Despite the challenge and operating with limited resources, this team consistently made the most of their opportunities. I have been particularly impressed with their efforts to engage with community members to educate and to get them involved in improving our water quality.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The dedicated and energetic staff of the organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Board Member
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Potomac Riverkeeper is one of the most effective organizations I have been involved with. It has grown from one staffer to seven in a very short time (8 years). I think this is because it has such a powerful mission (stopping pollution of the Potomac and its tributaries) and such a hardworking, smart staff (and board). The organization accomplishes its mission primarily through enforcement, that is monitoring polluters and

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing actual reductions in pollutants going into the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

having a part in growing the organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very motivated and hardworking.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get the message out that everyone of us benefits from a clean, healthy river, and that it is essential that all of us support this cause!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I listened to a speech filled with eye-opening facts about the importance of monitoring the Potomac & Shenandoah River watersheds, and how hard-working, everyday, innocent but uninformed people are polluting our waters in hundreds of small ways, but in the aggregate, making our waters impure. Thank you, Andrea Young, PRK board member for your informative message delivered with invitation rather than inflammation. We need PRK!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Well informed, sensible people who led busy professional lives, taking time to educate the public about the importance of monitoring & protecting Potomac & Shenandoah River sources,& organizing events that engage every day people to make a difference.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My first exposure to PRK was when I was recruited to help solicit donations of goods and services for its annual silent and live auction. The first thing that struck me was the recognition and respect I received from each company on the list as soon as I identified myself as a representative of PRK. I often heard that the business in question would do anything it could to help the organization with its mission. And these for me were cold calls -- people I did not know took extra time to tell me how grateful they were for the people at PRK. In terms of working directly with PRK staff and other volunteers, I find them to be bound by a single thread: passion for the beautiful rivers it serves. The sense of stewardship and responsibility to future generations is very inspiring.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Other than the knowledge that I'm supporting something big and incredibly important, the wonderful spirit of the staff and volunteers shines. They've got their work cut out for them, but they stay "up" about it all.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Intelligent, funny, compassionate, energetic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Establish an endowment that could see PRK operating far into the future, for which there is great need. The work they do is not going to get any easier...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

The dedication of the incredibly motivated and committed staff and board and membership of PRK and SRK (PRK has purview over both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers) is unparalleled in my experience. The mission, to keep pollution out of our rivers, sounds simple. But it is an enormous task. PRK believes that all who depend on the waters of the Potomac and Shenandoah for drinking, cleansing, recreating, watering of livestock and crops, and pure aesthetic enjoyment should be able to use this life-giving resource without fear of contamination or danger to one's self or one's loved ones. This organization works tirelessly to both insist on the enforcement of the Clean Water Act as well as to promote the education and encouragement of the community at large. PRK is making a tangible, real-time difference in the lives and health of those using the waters. What I find most exciting, however, is that PRK is not content just to focus on small things, or part of the problem. PRK's goal is to clean up the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers. In their entirety. To that end, it is constantly monitoring the rivers and tributaries, constantly educating itself, constantly learning, constantly meeting with stakeholders, constantly reaching out to the public, constantly, vigilantly striving to exceed expectations. It is a distinct honor to be associated with this amazing organization, which truly deserves to be one of the top-rated environmental nonprofits.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my everyday life, and in how I view and approach water as a resource. PRK's work has caused a paradigm shift in how I appreciate water and our dependence on it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to find the funds to increase staff and 'oomph'.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The bright, passionate, dedicated individuals associated with it, as staff, board members, and general membership. They come from all backgrounds and all political persuasions, but are united in their vision of a clean, healthy, vibrant river system.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing. Educated, dedicated, focused, passionate. They truly believe in what they are working for. This is not a job to them, it is a life's calling.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

methodically target point source pollution and runoff, but also effectively focus on pesticide contaminants and endocrine disruptors which impact all of our health, and in particular, fetal and childhood development. Every $ would continue to be precious.

Ways to make it better...

PRK had more funds. Significantly more funds. The task at hand is huge. Passion to reach the goal is ever high, but monetary resources would dramatically increase the ability of PRK to expand its work and reach and maintain its goals.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funds, and visibility/exposure. And lack of resources to hire the staff it needs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We are learning that health is directly linked to what we ingest. Water is a 'must-have' resource. It is no longer just an issue about nutrient runoff, but also an issue of chemical toxification of our water. PRK is putting this issue on the front burner

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have been moved by what Potomac Riverkeeper has done to clean and educate our community. I would be happy to support in anyway I can!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been moved by what Potomac Riverkeeper has done to clean and educate our community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

Was this review helpful?