The region’s leading clean water advocate, fighting to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. Great Falls might be a no-brainer, but what about the calm water, nowhere near the falls, where it looks nice and flat? The quarry will serve as a reservoir, storing the water until it is needed during the summer. That’s why the Potomac Riverkeeper has launched a Swimmable Potomac Campaign. Disgusting, right? If it has rained in the past three days, and the water looks brown or murky, then it is best to avoid touching local waterways. As summer heats up, here are our picks for safe, open, clean water spots in the Potomac River regions to cool off. Potomac River 7.5 Mile Swim CANCELLED IN 2020 DUE TO COVID-19. That sounds strange, but it’s time to clear up a few points and to provide tips to make your summer cool. The ferry connects White’s Ferry Road between Montgomery County, Md. Whether you want to deepen your knowledge of Potomac River flora or simply spice up your spring strolls with an activity, we’ve got your next adventure sorted! Swimming in the Potomac is generally not approved in the District, but organized events like the Nation’s Triathlon and other races can get exceptions. The term skinny-dip was first recorded in English in 1947. Nearly every year, there are drowning accidents in this stretch of the river. There are countless swimming spots across our region – from the sandy beaches at Point Lookout, to backyard streams and creeks. All your questions about the past, present, and future of swimming in the Potomac River and our local waters will be answered once as you freestyle your way through our big swimming quiz! We used to have beaches on the Potomac and swimming used to be legal! We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Last year, the state of West Virginia officially opened it as a public recreation area. 100% Privacy. We've got a few tips on how you can fight these invaders and protect native fish. The COMAR Exemption (“Boating” while wearing a “flotation device”). Plus find out how one organization is using their overabundance to do good. Now more than ever, we all need the mental and physical health benefits of getting outside. To answer the question of swimming-and-wading legality in the Potomac River, the following two regulations must be reviewed: (1) the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) (because sections of the Potomac River border National Parks) and (2) the Code of Maryland Regulations (“COMAR”) (because the Potomac River is within the State of Maryland). Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Now you, along with the abundant wildlife that calls the mountain home, can enjoy its vast acres of uninterrupted forest, unimpeded river views, clear streams, and rare wildflowers. Like the CFR Restriction, the State of Maryland does indeed restrict swimming and wading in the Potomac River. Genuinely useful tips for getting outside this winter. But how can you take advantage of the winter outdoors without it feeling like a chore? This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. The annual Potomac River Swim for the Environment is growing in popularity as a distance swim event. # swimmablepotomac # cleanwater # WaterIsLife # potomacriver # swimdrinkfish Thus, in these Potomac River areas (which encompass most of the River between Great Falls and the Maryland/Washington, D.C. line), swimming and wading as a “recreational use” are prohibited. But there are some hazards in her way. Is Swimming Illegal in the Potomac River? I’ve been meaning to post this forever, mostly cause I have these totally awesome photos sitting in a folder. We are utilizing the Virginia standards because they are more protective of public health for individuals swimming or otherwise in primary contact with the water than Maryland’s standards. It is illegal to go swimming in the Great Falls area of the Potomac River, an area also known as Mather Gorge. and Loudoun County, Va. Cars line up on a ramp to load onto the vessel, which follows a wire cable to the other side of the Potomac. Is it safe to swim or boat in the Potomac? Consult Request. **WARNING: SWIMMING IS PROHIBITED IN D.C. Swimming and wading without a personal flotation device (“PFD”) in certain types of river sections can be extremely dangerous; thus, such restrictions can be very logical. upstream of a line beginning at the base of Stubblefield Falls” and (b) between “100 yards above the crest of Dam No. However, are these signs properly conveying the operative law in Maryland for the Potomac River? You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. There are enough hazards in this section that even the best kayakers can have trouble navigating the rapids. The river actually encompasses 383 miles, running from its source in the West Virginia Appalachian Mountains until it empties out into the Chesapeake Bay. Longman & Van Grack regularly advises clients regarding sports and recreation legal issues within our Sports and Recreation Law Practice. The Harpers Ferry vicinity up to Dam 5 west of Hagerstown supports the largest walleye population on the Potomac, and one of the best walleye fishing opportunities in the region. Historic White’s Ferry, the last of the 100 ferries that once operated on the Potomac River, has shut down after an 11-year legal battle with a property owner at the ferry’s landing. Check out the Washington Post's interactive mapto view the deadly hazards that lurk in these waters. Discover how the Potomac has helped Emily, and what she hopes for its future. The Potomac is also home to a growing number of invasive fish, including snakeheads and blue catfish, and scientists say they are here to stay. Vernon and the Federal City bearing his name just upstream, the Potomac’s first calling is its service as the southern headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. However, swimming or wading in any section of the Potomac River is not illegal when the individual (1) is “wearing” a PFD while involved with a “vessel” and (2) is “associated with a vessel” (vessel includes kayaks, canoes, and multiple-chambered rafts). But on just about any summer weekend afternoon there are dozens of boats moored above the Key Bridge, many with people jumping in and out the water. Therefore, if the State of Maryland has established laws or regulations regarding the “wearing or the carriage of personal flotation devices” for the Potomac River related to the subject areas/boats listed in the CFR Exemption, then those state laws or regulations will trump the CFR Restriction (or any CFR regulation). And, if so, do the laws contain any exceptions? A subreddit for those living in and visiting Washington, DC and the immediate surrounding area. The COMAR specifically defines, “recreational use” as “activities on the Potomac River, including swimming, bathing, wading, diving, tubing, rafting, and other uses involving contact with the water.” (COMAR 08.06.01.02B(2)(a)). Denis Crean swims in the Potomac River two times a week. © 2021 Longman & Van Grack, LLC All Rights Reserved, Montgomery County Maryland Lawsuits & Trials, Administrative Appeals and Petition for Review, Tax Court Appeals and Tax Petitions for Review, Estate Administration and Estate Planning, Estate Planning & Administration Overview, Sports Law & Outdoor Recreation Law Overview, Contract and Document Review for Sports & Outdoors Industry, Liability Waivers for Sports & Outdoors Industry, Olympic and Professional Athlete Legal Representation. And the exemption below trumps and supersedes any CFR-swimming/wading prohibition because it addresses wearing a PFD related to CFR-Exemption-listed subjects/boats — “vessels” as defined in COMAR 08.06.01.02B(3). Technically it’s still illegal to swim in the Potomac from Georgetown. You can book a tubing trip on the Shenandoah or the Potomac River and decide whether you want a relaxing flat water float or an adventurous white water exploration. In … Here’s how our team is getting outside and enjoying the river while social distancing…now tell us your story! Now she’s hoping the river that has accelerated her athletic career will propel her to the 2020 Olympics. Bacteria is also a serious concern. Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. What is in the Potomac River’s water? 1 . Phone: (301) 291-5027 World-class rower Emily Schmieg is up training on the Potomac river every morning at 6 am, and it’s where she’s found her peace - and speed. Quiz: What's up with swimming in the Potomac River? Unlike many other countries the owners of the bank in the UK own half the river bed and, unless there is an established use, a swimmer could be trespassing. For safety reasons, swimming in the Potomac is illegal between Great Falls and the southern Maryland/DC line. On Tuesday, when the riverkeepers christened their newly donated boat, the Potomac River was rated red for no-go — based on a September 2018 water sample. “The Potomac especially is very deceptive, it has some spots that look very calm, very tranquil, look very easy to swim in,” he says. 128k members in the washingtondc community. The “areas covered” by the CFR Restriction are the National Capital Region Parks. With water temperatures around 50°F, U.S. Marine Quinn Hurt braves the polluted, murky waters of the Potomac. For years it has been illegal to swim in the Potomac River in Washington, DC because high levels of bacteria sometimes make it unsafe. There are exceptions for those who operate a boat, canoe, or kayak and happen to fall in wearing a personal floatation device. The Coast Guard is proposing to establish special local regulations for certain waters of the Upper Potomac River. We don't spam or share your information. When this occurs, runoff flows directly into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. During the past few years, signs have been posted in Maryland along popular hiking sections of the Potomac River near Great Falls and Mather Gorge which state that swimming and wading are illegal in the Potomac River. All Rights Reserved. Walking along a riverside trail with sunlight slowly burning your cheeks and sweat dripping down your back, you stop and look longingly at the nearby river. George Washington could have built his home anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard. The term "Potomac" is often used as a synonym for the nation's capital, and it does in fact flow through the District of Columbia, separating it from the neighboring state of Virginia. Call us at (301) 291-5027 if you have any further questions or if you think we can help you out. 10411 Motor City Drive If you're boating and wearing a personal flotation device and you happen to fall in, that is not illegal. But while you’re enjoying a fall breeze by the water, why not read a book that strengthens your connection with it? First, “recreational use” (as prohibited in the, Second, “Boating” is defined as “any recreational or other use of the Potomac River involving a vessel, including swimming or wading in association with a vessel.” (. “If it … Potomac sites that are under VA or MD jurisdiction are rated against these Virginia values. . It gives you pause. Is is safe? Who needs a pool when we live by the water? The Potomac River (Potomac River - Wikipedia) is not very deep at all until one gets well downstream: Historically, this was a cause of some vexation since there were great plans to make the Potomac the gateway for the development of the West. and upstream of the Maryland-District Columbia line.” (COMAR 08.06.01.03). Like in Georgetown for instance? Trees and other large debris can lurk just below the water's surface and pose serious danger to those in the river. We must eliminate DC's and Alexandra's combined sewage discharges and lift the swim ban that prohibits swimming in the Potomac River! Fax: (301) 291-5028 Additionally, as exactly anticipated by the CFR Exemption, the State of Maryland regulates activities regarding boating with a PFD. , U.S. Marine Quinn Hurt braves the polluted, murky waters of the Potomac! It ’ s guide, including 6 adventure activities how can you take advantage the... Ago, we think the River how the Potomac River ’ s the. 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