Teamwork at the CleanupLike many groups around the country, the Alice Ferguson Foundation has been sponsoring over twenty years of trash cleanups, which have made a great contribution to improving our watershed – but this is not a solution, it is just a band-aid. In 2005, we started the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative that would work with leaders, businesses, organization, and citizens to solve this problem. The Initiative includes annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and Potomac Watershed Trash Summit, as well as a strategic framework with five core components including public education, policy, regulation, enforcement, and market-based approaches.

A trash free Potomac watershed will be achieved when we have the institutions, infrastructure, and policies that will lead to a lasting reduction of litter.


  • 1989 – First Cleanup at the Farm
  • 1994 – Cleanups started to expand throughout the region
  • 1999 – Over 100 Cleanups in the Potomac Watershed
  • 2005 – Potomac Watershed Trash Treaty is created and signed by 8 elected officials
  • 2005 – Advisory Council is created and begins to provide strategic guidance
  • 2006 – First Potomac Watershed Trash Summit is held.
  • 2007 – Anacostia Regulatory Working Group is formed.
  • 2008 Accomplishments
    • Anacostia River becomes the second river in country to become listed as impaired for trash.
    • First Litter Enforcement Week is held.
    • First trash trap is placed on Watts Branch in the Anacostia River.
  • 2009 Accomplishments
    • Trash Free Potomac Facility program is created.
    • The District of Columbia passes the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act.
  • 2010 Accomplishments
    • Trash TMDL is approved and jurisdictions take action to address litter.
    • Regional litter prevention campaign is created through opinion surveys, focus groups, and researching best practice techniques.
  • 2011 Accomplishments
    • Over 100,000 volunteers participate in the Annual Cleanup
    • Montgomery County passes five cent disposable bag fee legislation.
    • Trash Free Schools project is created.
    • All District schools have the litter prevention campaign displayed.
    • Litter Enforcement Week is expanded to Litter Enforcement Month.