Anacostia Watershed Blog

Restoration Transformation

See the impact of years of our work!

By: Jorge Bogantes Montero

This blog post is a round-up of the wetland restoration posts that appeared on the Anacostia Watershed Society Facebook page through the summer.

Anacostia Watershed Society Unveils Latest River Restoration Project

University Park Elementary School and Riverdale Elementary School Retrofitted with State of the Art Green Infrastructure

Washington DC, September 5, 2017 – The Anacostia Watershed Society, in partnership with the Prince George’s County Public Schools, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the leadership of University Park Elementary School, today unveiled comprehensive redevelopment of the school grounds incorporating storm water Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will manage and treat stormwater.

Call For Artists:

Storm Drain Mural Project to Emphasize Our Connection to Local Waterways

Stormdrains on 17th St NW painted in 2017.

Description

AWS is seeking artists to create designs and paint murals on a total of 20 storm drains in a variety of locations near the Anacostia River. The goal of these murals is to raise awareness of storm drains as a connection to our local waterways. Selected artists will receive a commission of $775 per storm drain. Materials (paint and brushes) will be provided. Designs are due by 5pm on September 15th. Mural installation will take place in October 2017.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION AS A PDF.

Specifications

·         Designs should incorporate an environmental theme and include the text: #TrashFreeDC 

 600 Pairs of Helping Hands Work to Restore the River’s Wetlands

By Maddie Koenig, AWS Environmental Educator

This spring the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) had the pleasure of working with more than 600 students from 13 different schools across the watershed!    

Invasive Species Mayhem in the Forests of the Anacostia River

You may have wondered why are there so many leafless trees in mid-summer along the Anacostia River. The short answer is EAB. That is, Emerald Ash Borer. It is a beetle scientifically known as Agrilus planipennis, first detected in North America in 2002. It was accidentally introduced from Asia most likely as a hitchhiker in wood packing materials. If you ask us what’s our worst invasive species in the Anacostia River watershed, EAB is definitely on top of that list. EAB is the poster child of a highly invasive species, a nonnative species that causes ecological and economic harm, and in the case of EAB the impacts are evident and well documented. 

Treating and Teaching: Stormwater Stewardship 

A model program to engage students, teachers, and groundskeepers in Prince George’s County

By Tara Baker, Chesapeake Bay Trust; Edited by Maureen Farrington

students in the yard

The Prince George’s Department of the Environment (DoE) recognizes that schools are key sites for stormwater management projects because they have large parking lots and roof tops that create a high volume of stormwater runoff. Schools are also central hubs for citizens and students, making them ideal demonstration sites for public awareness. Therefore, schools provide a unique opportunity for Prince George’s County to connect the stormwater projects installed on school grounds with the environmental curriculum that supports the State’s Environmental Literacy graduation requirement.

Call For Artists:

17th Street Storm Drain Project to Promote LGBTQ Neighborhood Identity

Stormdrains AWS painted in 2014 in Brookland

Description

AWS is seeking artists to create designs and paint murals on storm drains along 17th Street NW. The goal of these murals is to both raise awareness of storm drains as a connection to our local waterways and promote the neighborhood’s LGBTQ identity. Selected artists will receive a commission of $775 per storm drain. Materials (paint, brushes, etc) are provided outside of the artist's commission. The Anacostia Watershed Society will help coordinate volunteers for painting the project. Designs are due by 5pm on June 16th. Mural installation will take place in late June/early July 2017.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION AS A PDF.

Specifications

A Reason to Be Glad: Springtime Means Shad!

By: Chris Lemieux, Manager of Education


Video of Shad running at Buzzard Point on March 28, 2017

As the Spring warm-up is well under-way, so is the annual run of the American Shad! The newly-minted “DC state fish” spends most of its life in the ocean, but as your garden is beginning to bloom, the shad make their way back up our local rivers to spawn.

Up until the late 1800’s this fish was a major part of colonial life and a huge component of a thriving native ecology as well as colonial-American industry. But Shad fell victim to the neglect and mistreatment of the Anacostia River, and the numbers of this fish dwindled from over-fishing, pollution, and loss of prime spawning habitat.


Students release shad fry into the Anacostia River.

The Fight Against Phragmites


The fight against invasive plants is a difficult one, as a matter of fact, it is a battle you shouldn't necessarily expect to win.

Removing invasive plants is not an easy enterprise, especially when it has to be done in a wetland, a rather muddy, wet and messy habitat to deal with. Our first Phragmites removal project started in 2010, and even though we made great strides for a couple of years, the effort fell apart when we left the site unattended for a growing season due to lack of funding, and, we were also busy with other ventures. One growing season, then another growing season… and then, you guessed it! Phragmites took over again. Ironically, Phragmites had previously encroached upon the same site after a previous wetland revegetation effort (which we still don’t know who did) was left unmaintained and the Phragmites literally took the whole site over. So, Phragmites = 2, people = ZERO. Ouch!!

Anacostia Watershed Society Submits Comments on Anacostia Park Draft Management Plan

Encourages NPS to Maximize Natural Area, Natural Systems

(Washington, DC, March 17, 2017) -- The Anacostia Watershed Society this week submitted detailed comments to the National Park Service in response to the Anacostia Park Draft Management Plan.

AWS expressed support for Alternative 4 as the best plan for Anacostia Park because it preserves the most natural area and allows for the least intrusive management practices on National Park land. AWS supports Alternative 4 because it achieves the highest and best use of National Park land to return, restore and protect the natural environment for the use of all, including future generations. AWS did note some ambiguity between the text and the maps, and made clear that AWS does NOT support the transfer of Poplar Point to the District of Columbia for commercial development.

Among the specific comments offered by AWS:  

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