The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was awarded the Potomac Champion Award on September 22nd. Presented at the 5th Annual Potomac Watershed Summit in Washington D.C., the Department was recognized for their innovative regulatory tools and community outreach to reduce the amount of litter and trash in the Potomac River. In a press release, County Executive Isiah Leggett stated,
“I’m very proud of DEP’s innovation and willingness to champion more aggressive ways of improving water quality. Trash not only ruins the beauty of our neighborhoods and rivers, it blocks our storm drains causing our streets and basements to flood, carries bacteria and other pollutants into our drinking water supplies, destroys fish habitat, and prevents us from swimming and fishing in our streams. The County spends over $3 million annually to pick up the litter that is carelessly discarded. Let’s encourage everyone to stop littering to help save the environment and County tax dollars. It’s that simple.”
DEP Director Bob Hoyt, who accepted the award on behalf of the County added,
“DEP has embraced our leadership role in being the first in Maryland to try to achieve ambitious goals for reducing waste and improving water quality. We are hard at work on a number of initiatives, including reducing trash in the Anacostia watershed; coordinating with the Department of Transportation to conduct additional street-sweeping in neighborhoods bordering the river; working with neighboring jurisdictions to launch a regional outreach campaign to reduce littering; and partnering with County agencies to step up efforts to both prevent and pick up litter before it reaches our waterways. The end result of these efforts will hopefully be a cleaner Potomac watershed and better environmental quality for all.”
For more information on the efforts of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection click here.