As a kid, I spent my summers in the waters of the lower Susquehanna River at a plot of land that’s been in my family for three generations. We’d spend hours jumping off rope swings, combing the banks for arrowheads, and making cups out of the clay that lined the river floor. We’d wake up before dawn to look for night crawlers and go out on the water to fish for smallmouth bass. We’d make snapping turtle stew and catch clams. It was a dream.
But today, two decades later, the next generation of my family is growing up with an entirely different experience. Sure, the plot of land is still in our family, and there are still bonfires on Friday nights and potluck picnics on holidays. But my younger cousins can’t enjoy the river like I did. They aren’t allowed to spend hours in the water because it’s polluted. They can’t go fishing or enjoy smallmouth bass for supper because the fish are diseased. The state’s refusal to list the river as impaired and get it the help it so desperately needs is disheartening.
When I moved to Old Town Alexandria I was excited to live by the water. But what I saw on my first stroll along the Potomac last year was upsetting: mounds of trash, dead fish, and mucky, thick water. The Potomac, it seems, may be in even more dire straits than my beloved Susquehanna.
With a background in reporting and editing, I know that breaking into a new field will be a challenge, but I am truly excited by the prospect of working passionately for a cause I care about. I'm so glad to be joining the Potomac Conservancy team!
See you on the river,
Joining our team in March 2015 as our Communications Associate, Alicia shares clean water news and successes on the Conservancy's River News blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Alicia's deep commitment to improving local water quality stems from her childhood summers spent along the Susquehanna River.
Read in her own words why she is joining the fight to save her new hometown river, the Potomac!