Know Before You Go
For the Best Experience
There are many facets to Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary. Use these handy tips to experience the sanctuary at its best.
- For optimum viewing of the wrecks, schedule your visit to correspond with low tide.
- Paddling is recommended between May and September to coincide with favorable weather and water conditions.
- Check the National Weather Service report before departing.
- Fishing is permitted within the Potomac River and Mallows Bay (fishing license is required).
Water Quality Conditions
Information related to water conditions is essential to enhancing the visitor experience and safety. In 2018, a partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Maryland Department of Natural Resources provided for the purchase and operation of a new water quality buoy adjacent to Mallows Bay. The buoy operates from April through October and reports real-time measurements of water temperature, salinity, oxygen, and other parameters that inform recreational and commercial users of the sanctuary.
Beginning in summer 2020, a new partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network will create a citizen science monitoring program at Mallows Bay. The monitoring program will focus on bacterial contamination in the water, which is important to human health.