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The Tidal Basin is a partially man-made reservoir found in the Capital Wasteland.
Before the War, it was a good fishing and boating port with the Jefferson Memorial adjacent to it. Some time after the war, mirelurks began colonizing it, soon infesting the water. The basin is filled with many row boats, tugboats, and dinghies. Many boxes of loot are still aboard the half-sunken, and deteriorated boats that mar in the shallows of the district's port basin.
Its surrounding territory was being fought over by the Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel, The Enclave, and the super mutant hordes that occupied downtown Washington, D.C., and in 2277 the Brotherhood won it over and gained control of the now fully functional Project Purity. The Tidal Basin could have been infected with the modified FEV if the Lone Wanderer chose to do so during the final part of Take it Back! main quest.
The exact boundaries of the basin are very vague, but it rests outside the Jefferson Memorial and thus Project Purity. The waterfront is teeming with mirelurks and has multiple boats submerged in it. On land, super mutants, and later Enclave soldiers, wander around basin until they're forcefully removed. After the purifier is turned on, clean water rushes into the basin.
The Tidal Basin appears only in Fallout 3.