The Changing Roles of the Potomac River with an Emphasis on Washington, D.C.

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2014-01-15
Authors
O'Connell, Eileen
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Craven, John
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Education
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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As the title of this paper would indicate, the roles of the Potomac River have changed since its beginning. Geologically, of course, it rolls down and over new inches of valley carved by itself and other natural forces, every century. Historically, the river has been called upon to perform many varied roles. The bulk of this paper is devoted to discussing some of those roles and how they have changed since its recorded history began. Not discounting the importance of the past and present, the most important part of this paper is an ominous question about the future of the Potomac River’s roles. That is the underlying theme and that question is put mainly to the Washington area for whose demands the river has been made to respect beyond her natural capacity. As her protective defense of negative feedback has caused alarm, attention is finally being given to river-oriented planning. In the name of progress, many of the Potomac’s natural roles have been made artificial. The question remains: can she be artificially returned to a natural state?
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63 pages
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