2009 Potomac Watershed Trash Summit

October 28, 2009

We are extremely pleased with the 4th Potomac Watershed Trash Summit! It was a lovely day hosted by House of Sweden. Approximately 280 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!

Action Roundtable Sessions

Thank You to all moderators, panelists, presenters and audience members who attended one or more Roundtable Sessions!

Please take a moment to view the Final Summit Roundtable Minutes.

Trash Treaty

Thirty four elected officials have agreed to sign the Potomac Watershed Trash Treaty since September 2009, bringing the total to 139 official signatories with several more in the works.

Some elected officials who signed this year include…

Harry Crisp,
Vice Chairman,
Stafford County, VA

Michael Brown,
District of Columbia

Nancy Floreen,
Montgomery County, MD


Plenary Speakers

Our speakers represented a diverse perspective on trash and litter:

David Westerholm, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration shared the importance of our oceans and how we can work together to keep them clean. 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.
  Peggy O’Dell, regional Director, national Capital Area of the National Park Service. Alice Ferguson Foundation and the National Park Service have a long standing unique partnership and Ms. O’Dell touched on how we will continue our partnership and expand on it.
Linda Howard, Executive Director, The Summit Fund of Washington, touched on the quality of the people in the room and in Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative’s network and how it’s these people that are making the difference.
Mark Smallwood, Green Mission Specialist, Whole Foods Market Mid- Atlantic Region, spoke about the importance of workplaces participating in the Trash Free Potomac Facility Program!
  Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, our Keynote Speaker, spoke about his family’s year-long project in which they lived off the grid in the middle of New York City with as little environmental impact as possible. We invite you to view the trailer of their movie and visit Colin Beavan’s Blog.

Summit 09 Awards

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

  • Councilmember Tommy Wells
    District of Columbia Council
    In appreciation of your outstanding leadership and progressive policy making we are honored to award you as a Potomac Champion. Your dedication to the citizens of the Anacostia Watershed and to environment is unparallel.
  • Cynthia Collier
    Independent Environmental Consultant
    Contracted by her Father who was Contracted by AWS

    In appreciation of your dedication to the Potomac River Watershed we are honored to give this award to you, who after every rain storm was getting dirty around outfalls counting and cataloging trash. Your data collection has spurred forward movement for our Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative and its Jurisdictional partners.
  • Robert Boone
    Board Chair of Anacostia Watershed Society

    In appreciation of his outstanding leadership and dedication to protect and create future stewards of our Anacostia and Potomac Rivers we honor Robert Boone from the Anacostia Watershed Society! He is a Trash Hunk Extraordinaire and we are proud of all the excellent work he has done.
  • Curtis Dalpra
    Communications Manager
    Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
    In appreciation of his outstanding leadership and support of the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative we are honored to award Curtis Dalpra from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, with a Potomac Champion Award. He has been with us since the Initiative’s inception and even longer through the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. Thank you for your dedication!
  • Mason Spring Conservancy
    A group who started by participating in our Potomac River Watershed Cleanup
    In appreciation of your outstanding leadership and dedication to protect Mattawoman Creek in Charles County we would like to honor Mason Springs Conservancy with the Potomac Champion Award. This group was born out of the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup when a group of anglers raised money to buy this land and save it from becoming a perpetual illegal dumping site. Mattawoman creek is one of the most productive spawning and nursery grounds in the Chesapeake Watershed for migratory fish.

DC Trash Free Tributary and Bag Fee
The District of Columbia Department of the Environment and the Office of the Mayor received a certificate of gratitude for their outstanding leadership in creating the first Trash Free Stream and for their continued support of the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative.


L-R: Tracy Bowen, Executive Director, AFF, Michael Herman, Board President, AFF,
Hamid Karimi, Deputy Director of DDOE, Councilmember Tommy Wells, DC Council,
Councilmember Michael Brown, DC Council


2nd Annual Litter Enforcement Week (LEW) Participation Awards
Law Enforcement Officers in the Potomac Watershed Trash Summit were awarded a certificate from Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments for participation in Litter Enforcement Week in the spring of 2009.

Participating LEW Jurisdictions

  • City of Alexandria Police Department
  • City of Frederick Police Department
  • City of Greenbelt
  • District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department
  • Fairmount Heights Police Department
  • Forest Heights Police Department
  • Maryland Natural Resource Police Department
  • Montgomery County Police Department
  • Prince George’s County Police Department
  • United States Park Police


Trash Free Potomac Facility Program
Alice Ferguson Foundation gave the 18 Charter Members, who are piloting the Trash Free Potomac Facility Program, a Certificate for their participation in the program. This award will take place every year to those workplaces who strive to become trash free!

L-R: Ginny Harris, AFF Staff, Mark Smallwood; Whole Foods Market; Sean Mahaffy,
Whole Foods Market; Erin Kerr Whole Foods Market; Michael Herman, AFF Board President; Jeff Wilkes, District of Columbia Public Schools; Ylrico Alexander, Urban Services; Edward Murtagh, US Department of Agriculture headquarters; Christina McAree, Four Points Hotel; Emma Hetnar, District Department of Environment; Verna Clayborn, DC Department of Public Works SWEEP Office; James Connolly, Anacostia Watershed Society
  • Alice Ferguson Foundation
  • Anacostia Watershed Society
  • District Department of the Environment
  • District of Columbia’s DPW SWEEP Office
  • Four Points Hotel
  • Georgetown University
  • H. D. Cooke Elementary, DC Public School
  • House of Sweden
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Headquarters
  • Urban Services
  • Whole Foods Market of Alexandria
  • Whole Foods Market Reston
  • Whole Foods Market Springfield
  • Whole Foods Market Tenleytown
  • Whole Foods Market Vienna
  • Whole Foods Market Georgetown
  • Whole Foods Market Tysons
  • Whole Foods Market Annapolis

Thank Yous

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 the seven 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 Sandy Wiggins for helping to plan and facilitate the Roundtable wrap-up.

Thank you to House of Sweden for your wonderful support in hosting this event, your flexible and always smiling staff, and for wanting us back next year!

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

Thank you to our sponsors:  The Summit Fund of Washington; NOAA; Altria; Fugro Earthdata, Washington Times;  Chesapeake Bay Trust; Keith Campbell Foundation; Fox 5 News WDCA/WTTG TV; Telemundo; Occasions Caterers; House of Sweden; Project Performance Corporation; National Park Service; Host Hotels & Resorts; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Greener Results Consulting; Target; PilieroMazza PLLC; Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; OpinionWorks; Perfect Settings; Patagonia; ESRI; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; Potomac Disposal Services; Gaylord Entertainment; Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Mirant Potomac River, LLC; Covanta Energy; Prince George’s Police Department; REI; Winchester Homes; HMSHost; Bates White; Urban Service; Billy Buck, Buck & Associates Realtors; Safeway; The Brick Companies Foundation; Arnold & Porter LLP; Washington Area Parrot Head Club