Annual Cabin John Creek Clean-Up

Everything we throw away, recycle, or lose that doesn't get collected and delivered to a waste transfer station can end up in and along our waterways.  It's unsightly and can harm aquatic plants and animals in rivers, bays, and even the oceans.


For example, cigarette butts are toxic for animals when eaten and can leach toxic chemicals in the river. Plastic bags, in addition to being a dangerous choking and digestion hazard, can break down into hormone-like chemicals that disrupt normal reproduction. In fact, over 80 percent of male small-mouth bass in the Potomac are intersex (have female eggs).


Every spring, FOCJC conducts a cleanup of the Creek and its tributaries. This cleanup first started in Cabin John in 1996 and gets larger each year.  Our hope is to enlist communities and businesses throughout the watershed to clean up the portion of the creek nearest them so that at some point in the future, every waterway will get the beauty treatment once a year.  Contact Burr Gray ( if you are interested in organizing a cleanup in your neighborhood.

2014 Maryland Coastal Clean-Up Trash Collection Results

Data from the Ocean Conservancy"s 2014 International Coastal Cleanup



Start Time:

Finish Time:











Rain Date:


10:00 am

12:00 pm

long pants


shoes that can get wet

waders, if you have them!

dress warmly and in layers

bring:  work gloves

bring:  drinking water

provided by MC: trash bags

provided by FoCJC: refreshments

volunteers under age 12 should be accompanied by an adult

Clean-Up will proceed unless there's heavy rain

check here for updates, if weather is an issue

2016 Cabin John Creek Clean-Ups
Earth Day Events: April 23
LOCATION 1: Cabin John Bridge
This event will focus on the southern end of the Cabin John Creek mainstem, starting under the Cabin John/Union Arch Bridge, and moving north toward Seven Locks Road. 

Meet-Up Location:

Clara Barton Center Tennis Courts parking lot,  

7400 block of MacArthur Boulevard, entrance immediately

northwest of Cabin John Bridge

Burr Gray, FoCJC President,

Co-sponsored by Friends of Cabin John Creek
and Cabin John Citizens Association
LOCATION 2: Tilden Woods Park
This event will focus on the Lower Old Farm Branch of the Cabin John Creek.

Meet-Up Location:

Tilden Woods Park Parking Lot

6800 Tilden Lane, Potomac, MD  20852

Mike Northridge, FoCJC Vice President,

Rules for a Safe and Successful Clean-Up
  • If the water is high, stay out of the stream channel!

  • Use the buddy system - work in pairs.

  • Be careful when picking up trash.

  • Don't put your hands where you can't see them; stream undercuts and reaching under logs and stones can be dangerous.

  • If you find a syringe, don't pick it up - notify your Team Leader.

  • Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.  Community service credits are available.

  • While Cabin John Creek is no worse than other urban streams, Montgomery County advised that residents should:

(1) avoid total body immersion (no swimming!)

(2) avoid swallowing water

(3) wash hands and/or shower after water contact