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.
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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.