Beyond the Backyard: The Nation’s River

For decades, the Potomac River was the dumping ground for industrial sludge and pollution that turned the once majestic river into a toxic wasteland. But the Clean Water Act of 1972 combined with years of work by environmentalists has helped clean up the water and bring it back to life. Or so Michael and his best friend thought when they teamed up for an adventure of a lifetime—to paddle the Potomac River from their childhood home outside of Great Falls National Park to the Chesapeake Bay and bike back. Finding beauty in their backyard becomes the least of their worries as the two fend for their lives on this wild river.

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