Perhaps no other body of water in America has defined our country quite like the Potomac River. From the American Indian communities who first called this region home to the American Revolution, the Civil War, and industrial progress into the 21st century, the Potomac is truly “the Nation’s River.”
The Potomac River is the second-largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. Dozens of small, vibrant rivers and streams flow through forests, farms, towns, and rural communities, coming together to form the Potomac. The river provides a critical link to the Bay; before roads crisscrossed the landscape, the Potomac transported trade goods and travelers to the Chesapeake and the world beyond.
The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office connects people to experiences of the natural and cultural heritage of the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and the watershed. We help conserve special places important to visitors, residents, and the nation, for this and future generations. And we manage the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. (Learn more)
The Chesapeake Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland. They are conservation entrepreneurs. They believe that the Chesapeake is a national treasure that should be accessible for everyone and a place where wildlife can thrive. We use technology to enhance the pace and quality of conservation, and we help build parks, trails and public access sites. (Learn more)
Linking the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, the evolving Potomac Heritage Trail network lies within a corridor rich in historic pathways and waterways. You can travel this historic corridor today—on foot, bicycle, horseback and by boat — exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Plateau. (Learn more)
Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc. was established in 2000 by principals of local environmental groups to fulfill a niche for a strong advocate to enforce clean water laws for the Potomac River and its tributaries. Riverkeepers are the eyes and ears of the water, protecting the public’s right to clean water in their rivers and streams. (Learn more)
The Potomac Conservancy is the region’s leading clean water advocate, fighting to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. They combine the grassroots power of 21,000 members and online activists with local land conservation and policy initiatives to strengthen the Voice of the Nation’s River. (Learn more)