His title may sound like something out of “Lord of The Rings,” with its kings, watchers and guardians, but the Potomac Riverkeeper's job is every bit of-this-world, and soon the man dedicated to protecting the Nation’s River is stepping down.
Since 2003, Ed Merrifield has led Potomac River conservation efforts as president of the nonprofit organization Potomac Riverkeepers. According to a Washington Post article, the 65-year-old Rockville resident is ready to retire from what has been a challenging career as the Potomac River’s advocate.
Part of the worldwide Waterkeeper Alliance that started in 1966, the Potomac Riverkeeper is one of approximately 200 waterkeepers around the world, including 20 within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, according to The Post.
“We stop water pollution,” Merrifield told The Post. “If it’s illegal pollution, we go after it as fast as we can to tell them you have to stop. We use all legal means necessary. We won’t back down.”
In 2008, Merrifield was named one of the most influential environmentalists by Washingtonian Magazine.