2008 Potomac Watershed Trash Summit

June 17, 2008

We are extremely pleased with the 3rd Potomac Watershed Trash Summit convened on June 17, 2008 at The World Bank. Approximately 300 amazing, talented and visionary people gathered to expand our thinking, dialogue, identify and recommend key steps for us to achieve the realistic goal of a Trash Free Potomac by 2013. 2008 Summit Program

Trash Treaty:

Twenty five elected officials have agreed to sign the Potomac Watershed Trash Treaty since March 2008, bringing the total to 96 official signatories with several more in the works. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, along with West Virginia Governor Jim Manchin III and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, rounded out our list of state leaders signing in the Potomac Watershed region.

Plenary Speakers:


Our speakers represented a diverse perspective on trash and litter:

  • Daniel Beard, Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. House of Representatives, spoke about the “Greening of the Capital.” From a cafeteria full of organic food, to extensive composting facilities, a switch from coal to natural gas and energy-efficient bulbs in the Capitol dome, the House of Representatives is taking a green stand. VIEW his Presentation
  • Mark Smallwood, Green Mission Specialist, Whole Foods Market Mid- Atlantic Region, spoke about business leading the trash free charge! Business Leading the Trash Free Charge!
  • Steve Raabe, President of OpinionWorks discussed the results from the from the TFPWI Potomac Watershed Opinion Study on Trash. VIEW his presentation Results from TFPWI Potomac Watershed Opinion Study on Trash
  • David Westerholm, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration shared facts on the impact of land-based trash on our Oceans. NOAA has major activities focused on marine debris and are committed to collaborating in partnership with the Trash Free Potomac Initiative to resolve and move solutions forward. View “Impact of Land-based Trash on Oceans”.
  • The EPA and representatives from the region shared how we can use the use the Anacostia Watershed as a Model for the Potomac.
  • Jon Capacasa, Director of Water, Region III, EPA;

Concurrent Action Roundtable Sessions

Click here for the complete Roundtable minutes.

  1. Wake Up and Smell the Trash – Potomac River watershed Outreach and Awareness Campaign on Trash
    Moderator: The Honorable Judith Davis, Mayor of Greenbelt, Maryland

    • Steve Raabe, President of OpinionWorks – Results of watershed public opinion study about trash View Presentation
    • Celeste Amato, Cleaner Greener Baltimore and Matt Doud, President, Planit – Design and Marketing Plan for a Cleaner Greener Baltimore View Presentation
  2. Legislation
    Moderator: Michael Herman, Chief of Staff for The Honorable Jack Johnson, Prince George’s County

    • Mayor Jim Newberry, Lexington, Kentucky – View Presentation
    • Brenda Platt, Waste to Wealth and Sustainable Plastics Program Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  3. Maximizing Regulatory Tools
    Moderator: Richard Dolesh, Senior Director of Public Policy, National Recreation and Park Association

    • Jim Collier – Results of Trash Survey in the Anacostia
  4. Enforcement
    Moderator: Assistant Chief Darrin Palmer, Prince George’s County Police Department

    • Presentation by the Prince George’s Environmental Crimes Unit—the Unit is part of a larger Prince George’s Environmental Crimes Task Force that is a model interagency task force to address trash and litter problems from a comprehensive perspective. – View Presentation
  5. There’s “Treasure in Trash”—Market-based Trash Reduction Strategies
    Moderator: Sandy Wiggins, Consilience LLC, Immediate Past Chair of the US Green Building Council and Chair of e3 Bank

    • Nancy Crickman, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – View Presentation
    • Joanne Throwe, Associate Director of the Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland – View Presentation
    • Allison Rodgers, Program Director of the Green the Capitol Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Office, US House of Representatives – View Presentation
    • Jefferson Thomas, Thomas AIA, PMP, LEED, AP Sr. Design Manager, Marriott – View Presentation
  6. Collection of Trash and Recyclables: Role of Citizens and Haulers
    Moderator: Jeff Smithberger, Director of Solid Waste, Fairfax, VA


Potomac Champion Awards
Leaders who embody stewardship and care for the Potomac River were recognized and presented with Potomac Champion Awards at the Summit.

  • “Coach Mark Smallwood, Green Marketing Specialist, Wholefoods Inc, accepted the award for Business Leadership in trash reduction.
  • Joseph Lawler, Regional Director, National Capitol Region, accepted the award for Partnership on behalf of the National Park Service.
  • Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments represented by Mayor Judith F. Davis and left Ted Graham received an award for Outstanding Leadership and Support for the TFPWI.
  • James Heins and Joseph Chudzik received our Volunteer Leadership Award for their efforts in the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.

Litter Enforcement Awards (LEW)
Law Enforcement Officers in the Potomac Watershed Trash Summit at The World Bank and participating jurisdictions were awarded a certificate from Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments for participation in the inaugural Litter Enforcement Week in the spring of 2008.

  • Individual LEW Awards
    Officer Mark Gribble, Montgomery County, Sergeant Joe Perez, Prince George’s County, Sergeant John Rizik, Arlington County, Asst. Chief Darrin Palmer, Prince George’s County, Lieutenant Dennis Maroney, US Park Police, Officer Jamal Lewis, City of Rockville and Officer Carl Ruleman, District of Columbia
  • Participating LEW Jurisdictions
    Arlington County, Charles County, City of Alexandria, City of Greenbelt, City of Rockville, District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, United States Park Police


Alice Ferguson Foundation will be convening important follow-up Roundtable planning sessions this Fall. We encourage all of you to join in. We will be sending you updated announcements and the schedule of time, date, and locations for the Roundtable meetings.


Thank you to all of the Elected Officials who signed the Potomac Watershed Trash Treaty – we need your leadership, commitment and involvement – you really make a difference!

Thank you to Mayor Newberry and Daniel Beard for giving your first ever trash talks – you were both inspiring and left behind no excuse for us to not fix this problem. And to our Federal Partners – David Westerholm with NOAA and John Capacasa with EPA for your support and challenge to our region!

Thank you to the six moderators for the Roundtables – they all jumped in and did a fabulous job to bring many diverse thoughts and perspectives together!

Thank you to the presenters and participants who gathered for the Roundtables – we all really benefited from your input!

Thank you to David Berry for helping to plan and facilitate the Roundtable wrap-up.

Thank you to The World Bank for your wonderful support in hosting this event the third year in a row. The hardworking Bank staff went above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate us.

Thank you to the exhibitors who shared their expertise, innovations, and ideas to all of the Trash Free Potomac Network.

Finally, Thank You to the sponsors of the Trash Free Potomac Initiative – whose support through funds or in-kind contributions are helping us to push and prod this very important regional problem towards solution and repair:

OCEAN: Fugro EarthData, Inc.; The Summit Fund of Washington; TIDES: Chesapeake Bay Trust; Phillip Morris USA; BAY: Koch Industries, Inc.; National Park Service; NOAA Marine Debris Program; The Washington Times; The World Bank; RAPIDS: OpinionWorks, RIVER: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; Prince Charitable Trusts; Telemundo WZDC; TRIBUTARY: Crowell & Moring, LLP; RUN: Beveridge & Diamond; David Berry; Energetics, Inc.; Exxon Mobil; Gaylord Entertainment Foundation; STREAM: Piliero Mazza, PLLC; Target; CREEK: FishAmerica; Mirant Mid-Atlantic, LLC; Owens Illinois; Potomac Riverboat Company; REI; Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association; Winchester Homes; RAINDROP: Bonnie Plants; The Brick Companies Foundation; Chaney Enterprises; Rosalie Fedoruk; Andrew and Carrie Love; Mirant Chalk Point, LLC; My Organic Market (MOM’s); Whole Foods